The writer Roberto Merino (b. 1961) studied literature at the Universidad de Chile, graduating in 1983 with “La nueva novela: proposición de una lectura” [The New Novel: Proposal for a Reading] at the time when Carmen Foxley was the academic director. The text “Juan Luis Martínez: La nueva novela la memoria secreta” (1988) is the result of profound research and analysis. Merino is a poet and the author of two books: “Transmigración” [Transmigration] (1987) and “Melancolía artificial” [Artificial Melancholy] (1997); he is also a journalist and editor. His newspaper columns include: “Santiago de memoria” [Santiago by Heart] (1997), “Horas perdidas en las calles de Santiago” [Hours Spent on the Streets of Santiago] (2000), “Todo Santiago” [All of Santiago] (2012), and “En busca del Loro atrofiado” [In Search of the Atrophied Parrot] (2005). He wrote a book of essays, Luces de reconocimiento [Lights of Recognition] (2008), among several others. Two decades ago, he published a weekly column in the newspaper Las Últimas Noticias; he also contributed to El Mercurio. For information about this author’s works on the subject of art; see the following in the ICAA Digital Archive: “Metamorfosis de fachada” (753615) on the work of Gonzalo Díaz (b. 1947); and, on the subject of Juan Pablo Langois Vicuña (1936–2019), see “Una cabeza con caparazón. Anotaciones sobre la obra de Vicuña” (756912)].
Juan Luis Martínez (1942–1993) made a name for himself with works that questioned the limits of language and writing, authorship, and the “I” of the lyrical tradition, thus abandoning the transcendental and universalizing voice. His work is of fundamental importance in Latin American poetry of recent times. Going beyond writing, he explored visual ideas (collage and made objects) via linguistic processes, combining fragments to alter meanings, opening them up to multiple meanings. During his life he published two book-objects: La nueva novela [The New Novel] (1977) and La poesía chilena [Chilean Poetry] (1978), both of which blur the boundaries between the poetic and the visual and introduce various different elements. La poesía chilena is a box that contains a bag full of soil from Chile’s central valley and his father’s death certificate and the death certificates of the poets Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957), Pablo de Rokha (1894–1968), Pablo Neruda (1904–1973), and Vicente Huidobro (1893–1948). It is a cross between a biography and a history of the poetry written by such poets. [For more information about Martínez see “La redefinición del contrato simbólico entre escritor y lector. La nueva novela de Juan Luis Martínez” (751667) by María Eugenia Brito; see also “Xuan Luis” (765500) by Cecilia Vicuña.]