Alberti, Rafael

Alberti, Rafael älbĕrˈtē [key], 1902–99, Spanish poet. After abandoning an earlier career as a painter, Alberti published his first book, Marinero en tierra [sailor on dry land] (1925), which was widely applauded. He was a member of the “Generation of 1927,” which also included such figures as Vicente Aleixandre, Luis Buñuel, and Federico García Lorca. Alberti's poems show the influence of Juan Ramón Jiménez and of the Spanish classics, especially of Góngora. His poetic brilliance is revealed in Concerning the Angels (1929, tr. 1967), a collection of introspective lyrics with surrealist overtones. A Loyalist in the Spanish civil war, Alberti sought exile in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after Franco's triumph in 1939. Temporarily living in a number of cities including Paris and Rome, he did not return to Spain until 1977. His later poetry is enhanced by an intimate, spiritual lyricism. Alberti was also a noted playwright.

See selected poems tr. by M. Strand (1973) and by J. Elgurriaga and M. Paul (1981).

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