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Essays on the Literary Baroque in Spain and Spanish America

Essays on the Literary Baroque in Spain and Spanish America

JOHN BEVERLEY
Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 202
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt9qdmq5
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  • Book Info
    Essays on the Literary Baroque in Spain and Spanish America
    Book Description:

    The Hispanic Baroque is a Janus-faced phenomenon, one of its faces peering at the sunset of feudalism, the other at the dawn of European modernity. This collection of essays seeks to engage with this paradox and its consequences for understanding Spanish and Latin American literary and cultural history. Conceived in response to Roberto González Echevarría's influential Celestina's Brood: Continuities of the Baroque in Spain and Latin America, and spanning many years of Beverley's own intellectual trajectory, it includes material already in the public domain, together with much that is new, previously unpublished or long unavailable. An Introduction outlines the ongoing scholarly discussion about the nature of the Baroque in both Spain and Spanish America. The essays deal respectively with Luis de Góngora's Soledades; the picaresque novel; the Baroque pastoral; Gracián's theory of "wit" and the equation of wit and power; and the relation among Baroque writing, colonial hegemony, and the formation of a criollo culture in Spanish America. A section on Baroque historicism suggests some ways of using the Baroque to reflect on our contemporary situation, and the volume concludes with a wide-ranging conversation about the Baroque and Hispanism between the author and Fernando Gómez Herrero, a young scholar strongly influenced by postcolonial studies. JOHN BEVERLEY is Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-634-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-22)

    ‘What is at stake in the continuing privilege accorded to Baroque and neo-Baroque aesthetics in Spanish American literary scholarship and writing?’, asked the late Antony Higgins in a study that, perhaps more than any other I am aware of in recent decades, brought sharply into focus the need for a new paradigm in Baroque studies on both sides of the Atlantic.¹ This question is also, directly or indirectly, the central preoccupation of these essays, written and published over the course of the last thirty years or so. Let me frame briefly the debate in which they participate, along with Higgins’s...

  5. PART I

    • 1 The language of contradiction: Aspects of Góngora’s Soledades
      (pp. 23-53)

      The portrait of Góngora by Velázquez is meant as an allegory of dialectical intelligence: ‘arte de agudeza e ingenio’. It presents the poet’s head in threequarters profile. The right and larger section of the face is bathed in a flood of golden light which models the high dome of the forehead and extends in a curving line down the long bridge of the nose; the left quarter face is barely visible in deep shadow. Like the Polyphemus, the portrait stares fixedly at the spectator from the right eye. But by looking closely one can make out the form of a...

    • 2 The production of solitude: Góngora and the State
      (pp. 54-71)

      What was involved in the seventeenth-century debates on Gongorism and in its reception by the literary elite of the Spanish imperial state and ideological apparatus was not simply a matter of style. The much argued question of Góngora’s formalism meant not the absence of political and social concerns—as the contemporary usage of the term suggests—but rather the relationship between a certain way of doing poetry and the dominant ideology and society which represented and reproduced itself in and through that ideology. Poetry was still regarded as a legislative discourse; aesthetic questions were thus inseparable from ethical ones, and...

    • 3 Sobre Góngora y el gongorismo colonial
      (pp. 72-84)

      ‘Pondérase la discordancia’, escribe Gracián en suAgudeza y arte de ingenio, ‘y luego pasa el ingenio a dar sutil y adecuada solución’ (Discurso VII). El arte de ingenio se aprende en el laboratorio del concepto poético, pero se aplica en el ejercicio del poder político donde el ‘varón avisado’ tendrá que navegar por el laberinto de la Corte. En el soliloquio del peregrino, en laSoledad segunda, Góngora se representa como Ícaro (‘aquel que con las alas derretidas | cayendo, fama y nombre al mar á dado’: Garcilaso, Soneto XII):¹

      Audaz mi pensamiento

      el cenit escaló, plumas vestido,

      cuyo...

  6. PART II

    • 4 Lazarillo y la acumulación originaria: notas sobre la picaresca
      (pp. 85-101)

      La novela ha sido la forma literaria —quizás la forma cultural— más típica de la civilización burguesa. El pequeño libro (‘nonada’, como dice su autor) tituladoLa vida de Lazarillo de Tormes, y de sus fortunas y adversidades, publicada anónimamente en España en 1554, es la primera novela moderna. ¿A qué se debe la paradoja de que la novela moderna sea la invención de una sociedad históricamente marcada por su atraso relativo con respecto al desarrollo del capitalismo?

      Podemos comenzar nuestra respuesta con una clarificación: aunque elLazarilloes la primera novela moderna no es la primeranovela. Novelas o...

    • 5 La economía política del locus amoenus
      (pp. 102-112)

      La transición del feudalismo (o de otras formaciones precapitalistas) al capitalismo, siempre y cuando ocurre, da lugar a una problemática ética y epistemológica sobre la naturaleza del valor económico y las metas de la producción y circulación de la riqueza. En la España de los Austrias, tal y como señaló Pierre Vilar en un conocido trabajo, esta problemática se expresa en el conflicto entre dos escuelas de economía política: los bullonistas y los cuantitativistas.¹ Los bullonistas eran partidarios de la nueva economía minera; por lo tanto abogaron por el principio mercantilista de que la riqueza de una república consiste en...

  7. PART III

    • 6 Gracián, or politics
      (pp. 113-122)

      We are long past thinking of literature as a universal human institution; rather, we tend to speak today of ‘literatures’ with historically and socially specific conditions of production and reception: ‘reading formations’, to use a concept Tony Bennett has developed² In relation to Latin America, the obvious starting point in this respect is the fact that one of the things —along with smallpox and theencomiendasystem— Columbus and his successors brought with them to the New World and imposed on it was the printed book and the modern institution of literature, newly animated in Europe itself by the doctrine...

    • 7 Sobre la supuesta modernidad del Apologético de Juan de Espinosa Medrano
      (pp. 123-135)

      Como se sabe, la modernidad involucra una autonomización de la esfera estética. La formulación clásica de esta idea se debe a Weber, pero su fundación filosófica se encuentra, ya a finales de la Ilustración, en laCrítica del juiciode Kant. Paradójicamente, sin embargo, esta autonomización de la esfera estética es también un elemento clave en el barroco más de un siglo antes. ¿Es el barroco entonces una forma de modernidad? ¿Una modernidad propiamente hispánica y latinoamericana? ¿Una modernidadobsoleta, quizás?

      Roberto González Echeverría responde esencialmente que sí. Su libroCelestina’s broodtiene como tema principal ‘the Baroque as the...

  8. PART IV

    • 8 Baroque historicism: Then and now
      (pp. 136-148)

      I take as my point of departure the moment in Alejo Carpentier’sLos pasos perdidos, which is a novel about going backwards in time as one moves laterally in space, where Carpentier pictures acantinain some forgotten provincial village in the backlands of an unnamed Latin America country, with a sign in fading letters on its façade reading, presumably as an advertisement for the narcotic pleasures it will offer,Memorias del futuro, memories of the future. I want to use that notably Baroque conceit to reflect in turn on the nature of Baroque historicism itself.

      I mean by historicism...

    • 9 Are Golden-Age studies obsolete? A conversation with Fernando Gómez Herrero
      (pp. 149-186)

      Fernando Gómez Herrero. I would like to touch on the idea of places John Beverley will not go now as opposed to places you might have gone or you indeed went twenty-five years ago. You told me that you wanted to present a series of panels entitled ‘Are Golden-Age Studies Obsolete?’ at the MLA [Modern Language Association of America]. Is that the direction you would see yourself going? How would you talk about the trajectory of your work on the Baroque?

      John Beverley. I think I have gone in a circle, in the sense that I have come back from...

  9. INDEX OF NAMES
    (pp. 187-191)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 192-192)