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Title:La oscuridad en la teoria poetica espanola de la Edad de Oro
Author(s):Bird-Swaim, Rosa Julia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Porqueras-Mayo, Alberto
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Modern
Literature, Romance
Abstract:This dissertation is an investigation of the development of the "obscurity" concept in the works of Spanish theorists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The polemic "clarity-obscurity" became one of the central arguments in the defense or attack of one of the most important Spanish poets of the seventeenth century: Luis de Gongora y Argote.
My approach to the theme is through an historical, selective and representative analysis of the concept "obscurity" in the most important treatises or comments of the castillian writers dating from the beginnings of the sixteenth century and focusing on the revolution caused by Gongora's poems "Polifemo" and "Soledades" in the second decade of the seventeenth century.
In the first chapter I review the development of poetic criticism from the greeks and the latins (Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Cicero, Quintilian, St. Augustine) through the medieval Spanish poetics (including some comments of the italians Petrarca, Boccaccio and Castiglione), up to the first decade of the sixteenth century. These comments are important because they outline the previous existence and importance of "clarity", as opposed to "obscurity", as one of the most important qualities of poetic style. Also, these texts were the fountain of wisdom for those who, after the Renaissance, tried to codify and define the Spanish poetics.
In the second chapter I deal primarily with the Renaissance "Poetics" in Spain and the presence of the term "obscurity" in these writings. The focus of this chapter is Fernando de Herrera and his comments to Garcilaso's poetry. The impact of Herrera's Anotaciones and his new approach to poetry will be a departing point for those who later will engage into the criticism of Gongora's "obscure" poems. This chapter ends with a revision of Luis Carrillo de Sotomayor and his open defense of poetic obscurity contained in his Libro de la erudicion poetica (1610).
The third and last chapter treats the seventeenth century in like fashion including at the end a revision of the polemics around the figure of Don Luis de Gongora, trying to define what was meant by "obscurity" and how it wasn't directly related to the Mannerist and Baroque approaches to poetry. The focus of this chapter is the whole body of poetic criticism that was written in response to the gongoristic style phenomena that was capturing the attention of the most erudite persons of the time including its most important poets like Lope de Vega, Jauregui and Quevedo. This chapter ends with the notion that the polemic of obscurity in poetry was well documented not only in Spain, but in the New World, from where one of the most eloquent and beautiful defenses of Gongora's new and triumphant style came from the peruvian Juan de Espinosa Medrano.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Bird-Swaim, Rosa Julia
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210747
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210747

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