Antonio Machado died in exile in 1939, shortly before the end of the Spanish Civil War. The poet immediately became an emblematic figure not only for Republican exiles, but also for important Francoist intellectuals. In 1979, in a reading organized by the Ateneo Español of Mexico to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the poet’s death, the exiled writer Tomás Segovia took the evocation of Machado's poetry as an opportunity to reflect on its institutionalization and criticize “the commonplaces of Hispanism and Hispanicity, of solemnity and academicism.” Segovia’s own evocations and reflections were significantly titled “Antonio Machado, from another shore.” Now, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War, it seems timely to reexamine “from another shore” the conflicting relationship between poetic memory and national literary history.
Daniel Aguirre-Oteiza is Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Forthcoming in 2020 is his new book This Ghostly Poetry: History and Memory of Exiled Spanish Republican Poets, and he is already working on another project, tentatively titled (In)translating: Poetry and Politics of Identity in 21st-Century Spain. Dr. Aguirre-Oteiza is also a translator, and among his translations into Spanish are works by John Ashbery, Samuel Beckett, Shel Silverstein, Wallace Stevens, and W. B. Yeats.