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Poets and Prophets of the ResistanceIntellectuals and the Origins of El Salvador's Civil War$
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Joaquín M. Chávez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199315512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199315512.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

La Masacuata’s War

La Masacuata’s War

(p.106) 4 La Masacuata’s War
Poets and Prophets of the Resistance

Joaquín M. Chávez

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines a little-known literary movement created in San Vicente, a provincial city in El Salvador, that later expanded to the capital. This group formed an artistic and political vanguard that blended long-standing cultural traditions in El Salvador and the insurgent spirit of the Global Sixties. The chapter considers the impact of the group’s public performances, pedagogical activism, and efforts to create a revolutionary movement. One of the group’s most memorablel activities was a poetry reading and public gathering to honor Che Guevara’s legacy, held in San Vincente in 1968, which was violently dispersed by a paramilitary group associated with Pedro Arnoldo Aparicio Quintanilla, the ultraconservative bishop of San Vicente. In the aftermath of this event, Aparicio excommunicated the poets and artists affiliated with La Masacuata, viewing them as rebels who posed a cultural, ideological, and political threat to Catholic conservatism in El Salvador. Members of La Masacuata established close links with Sandinista poets in Nicaragua and Salvadoran literary figures of earlier generations. In addition to their literary activities, members of La Masacuata joined El Grupo, one of the first insurgent groups formed in El Salvador between 1969 and 1972. In other words, the poets of La Masacuata were part of the first generation of guerrilla operatives that emerged in El Salvador in the early 1970s.

Keywords:   poets in El Salvador, revolutionary intellectuals, literary vanguards, countercultural movements, Global Sixties, guerrilla movements, El Grupo, San Vicente, Old Left, New Left

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