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Latin American Avant-Garde, Futurism, Venezuelan Literature, Literary Manifestos, Little Magazines, Arturo Uslar Pietri, mestizaje, criollismo


The short-lived revue válvula, published in Caracas in 1928, was symbolic of the cursory invasion of Futurism into Venezuela, and of the fate of the avant-garde in that country between the 1920s and 1930s. At a time, when the nation was struggling to shake itself from the patriarchal influence of the caudillo Juan Vincente Gómez (1857-1935), and was simultaneously on the eve of a shift from an agricultural to an oil-based economy, artistic avant-garde movements arrived in cultural centres such as Caracas and Maracaibo not with the boom and thunder appropriate to war-loving Futurism but, rather, trickled in slowly, gradually changing the face of Venezuelan literature. That being said, the nature of válvula, in its first and only issue in January 1928, carried the urgency and abrupt nature of Italian Futurism within its visual and editorial content. The main propagandist of the new Venezuelan avant-garde was the young Arturo Uslar Pietri (1906-2001) who eschewed labelling the new literary movement a product of European vanguardism, yet, effectively, yielded to an Italian Futurist aesthetic in his first defence of Futurism in the review, Indice: Quincenario de combate. Crítica y literatura, in 1927. However, his collaboration with the válvula group in 1928 would mark the transition from his love of Futurist rhetoric to his demand for aesthetic and social renewal.

Publisher Attribution

“Futurism in Venezuela: Arturo Uslar Pietri and the Reviews Indice and válvula.” In Günter Berghaus, Ed. International Yearbook of Futurism Studies. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012.



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