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Dependence, Independence, and Death

Toward a Psychobiography of Delmira Agustini


William James

Dependence, Independence, and Death: Toward a Psychobiography of Delmira Agustini depicts the life of Uruguayan poet Delmira Agustini (1886-1914) based on her poems and other writings. These works give evidence of two constructs related to a psychological conflict in her life. The first is a dependence/independence dichotomy, thematized as a polarized love relationship between speaker and Other, who can represent two individuals or dual aspects of the poet’s self. The second involves the poet’s fascination with death, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when she is murdered by her ex-husband at the age of twenty-seven.