The Weird

Rubén Darío’s Raros

Rubén Darío’s rarities on the editing table

We have wanted to publish Rubén Darío’s Los raros de Rubén Darío for some time. More than once we thought of buying some of the out-of-print editions to make a new edition of the work, but the realization of some other projects had delayed this work until today. And since more than once our readers have asked us what criteria justify making changes to the text of a classic, we would like to take advantage of the publication of this work to explain what our work consists of.

Los raros are a group of contemporary authors of Darío, whom he defends almost as emblems of their time and of the literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Darío portrays, from a perspective that is not only literary but also vital, authors as dissimilar as Edgar Allan Poe, an almost mythical Count de Lautreamont (of whom there were hardly any editions at the time), Leconte de Lisle, Ibsen, Verlain, Villiers de L’Isle-Adam and José Martí. Since the poet knew most of the authors he refers to, he speaks of their temperaments with the same enthusiasm with which he speaks of their works. And so, Los raros is not only an exaltation of literature but also of a way of life associated with it, alien to fashions and big industry. Darío seems to feel obliged to pay homage to these authors, saving them from indifference or oblivion. But in addition to referring to his cult authors, Darío speaks between the lines of the work of many other French, English, Greek, American and Latin American writers of the time, whom we see moving in the feverishly creative atmosphere of Paris in the last decade of the 19th century.

Well, our edition of Los raros comes from the publishing house Mundo latino (Madrid, 1918), although we have consulted some more recent ones. The original edition, although carefully edited, suffered from irregularities in the proper names and place names, which appear throughout the book with different spellings, sometimes cited in the original language and sometimes translated into Spanish. We have also updated the use of accents in:

fue: was

I was; I was

a: a

In addition, we have restored the French accents of the surnames of certain authors, when this served to unify them. The list would be a bit longer, but all of them are issues of this type. Finally, the proposed edition incorporates hardly any new notes. Our idea is to always offer a first edition with the least critical apparatus, from which it will be possible to publish as many as scholars need and request, each one adapted to the most specific needs.

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