“Let's leave the old once and for all...In literature, I like everything that is innovation. Everything that is original.”
–Vicente Huidobro, Pasando y Pasando: crónicas y Comentarios (1914)
Today’s Doodle, illustrated by London-based guest artist Luisa Rivera, celebrates avant-garde Chilean poet and writer Vicente Huidobro on his 127th birthday. Widely known as the “father of the Creacionismo (Creationism) literary movement,” Huidobro refused to be confined by literary orthodoxy. Instead, he used the written word to push the limits of creativity.
Vicente García-Huidobro Fernández was born in 1893 in Santiago, Chile. He became a poet like his mother, first published at the early age of 12, and went on to study literature at the University of Chile.
Gradually, he began to feel confined by traditional poetic standards, and in 1914 he rejected them in his manifesto, Non Serviam (“I Will Not Serve”).
Huidobro moved to Paris to collaborate with surrealist poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy on the literary magazine they founded, Nord-sud (North-South). In Paris, he invented Creacionismo, the idea that poets should create their own imaginary worlds instead of writing about nature in traditional styles with traditional language. Poemas árticos (“Arctic Poems,” 1918) and Saisons Choisies (“Chosen Seasons,” 1921) are some examples, but the 1931 long-form poem Altazor is Huidobro’s definitive Creacionismo work.
His well-known lines from his poem Arte Poetica (Poetic Art), “Let the verse be like a key / That opens a thousand doors,” represents his style and inspired today’s Doodle art, which infuses different images that appear in his poetry.
Huidobro wrote over 40 books, including plays, novels, manifestos, and poetry. He constantly encouraged literary experimentation and influenced many Latin American poets who succeeded him.