Guillermo de Torre lived and breathed “avant-guardism.” His view of what was important in literature was the new, the audacious, and the experimental. The first edition of this work (1925) has served as a source for countless scholarly works, many of them beyond the literary-critical sphere.

This second edition, revised by Torres and finished just before his death, although under criticism for conceptual imprecisions (see R. Shattuck, New York Review of Books, Vol. 14, No. 5), continues to be of interest both to the specialist because of this impressive life involvement and to the non-specialist as a primary source and for its informative bibliography.

The first volume covers the period’s main events of futurism, expressionism, cubism, and dadaism; the second, surrealism, imagism, ultraism, and personalism; the third, existentialism, letrism and concretism, neo-realism, the “angry young men,” objectivism and new -isms. The very scope of the work in terms of time and space compensates for possible looseness in definition. One cannot forget that what was once revolutionary now forms the basis of contemporary art.