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(see map) On this page: {The 4 priniciples of Ultraism} (Borges) See also: {Parallels to Imagism}

The 4 Principles of Ultraism

Extracted from Ronald J. Christ's "The Narrow Act: Borges' Art of Allusion, Pp.2-3. "A more precise definitin of the techniques and principles of Ultraism yields a still more precise clue to the continuing pre-occupation of the Borges' art. In one of his earliest articles, Borges sez: Schematicized, the present position of Ultraism can be summed up in the following principles: 1. Reduction of the lyric to its primordial element: The Metaphor. 2. Deletion of intervening sentences, of transitions, and useless adjectives. 3. Abolition of ornamental device, confessionalism, circumstatiation, exhortations and studied nebulousness. 4. Synthesis of two or more images in one, which will thus increase the images's power of suggestion. FROM: "Ultraísmo", Nostros, P. 468. "Ultraism [continues Ronald Christ], of course, had much in common with many movements of the time --
Vorticism], for example -- but the Argentinian, transplated variety of Ultraism, as Bortes subsequently made clear, developed differently from the Spanish stock. The Spanish writers, borrowing their name from the magazine Ultra, where many of their works were published, emphasized the notion of in the chronological and geographical sense -- going beyond the established boundaries, so that Rafael Cansinos Asséns defined the parent movement in the following way: Ultraism is an exuberant determination which exceeds all scholastic limits. It is an orientation toward continuous and re-iterated evolutions, a proposal for perennial literary youth, an a priori acceptance of every new idea. It represents the responsibility to go forward with the times. [Ronald Christ continues] Borges in contrast, defined the Ultraism of Argentina as seeking not merely the modern or new, but the eternal: The ultraism of Seville and Madrid was a resolution for renewal, it was the resolve of girding aesthetic time in a new cycle [NB], it was a lyric written, as it were, with florid capital letters on the leaves of the calendar, a lyric whose most eminent emblems -- the airplane, antennas, and propellors -- are spokesman for a chronological present. The Ultraism of Buenos Aires was the yearning to obtain an absolute art which would not depend on the un-faithful prestige of the authors and which would last in the continuity of the language as a guarantee of beauty. Beneath the energetic clarity of lamps, the names of Huidobro and Apollinaire (emphasis mine)