Vicente Aleixandre, 86, a Spanish surrealist poet who won the 1977 Nobel Prize for Literature, died at his home here Dec. 14, four days after suffering an intestinal hemorrhage.
Mr. Aleixandre was one of the last survivors of the literary "Generation of 1927" that flourished before the 1936-39 Spanish civil war. In that conflict he supported the Republican side against the victorious forces of Gen. Francisco Franco.
His poetry, which was greatly influenced by the surrealist movement of the 1930s, began bringing him fame in 1933 with the publication of his book of verse, "La Destruccion o el Amor" (Destruction or Love), which won the National Literary Prize. He was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy in 1949.
A lifelong bachelor, Mr. Aleixandre had lived since 1940 in a modest Madrid house with his sister. He was ill much of his life, most recently with kidney and eye problems.
Unlike most writers of his generation, Mr. Aleixandre did not leave Spain during the Franco dictatorship, although Franco banned his poetry until 1944. But he remained in a kind of spiritual exile and seclusion until the Nobel award thrust him back into the public eye.
When he won the prize, the poet said he had never expected it and he thought it was an honor for the entire 1927 generation, including fellow poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was killed by Falangists during the civil war.
The Swedish Academy's Nobel Committee cited Mr. Aleixandre for "illuminating man's condition in the cosmos and present-day society" and, noting his health problems, praised his "strength to survive." Poor health prevented Mr. Aleixandre from going to Stockholm to accept the honor in person.
The award brought new critical studies of his writing and translators struggled with his ambiguous words. Mr. Aleixandre's principal theme was that life replenishes itself. "Man is a passenger in life, automatically incorporated into the universe on death," he said.
His poetry has been called surrealistic, existential, erotic and spiritual but seldom religious. His poems link love and death and mix parts of the body with elements of nature. His imagery can be stunning or puzzling, as in this example from the second of his more than 20 books:
"To sleep when my time comes on a conscience without a pillowcase."
Critics said Mr. Aleixandre struggled constantly between hope and despair. Referring to this observation, the poet said: "All men are part of a single substance. First they are history, then they are reintegrated into the universe. Hope is when they are dead and incorporated into matter. Despair is when living man sees his limitations."