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Góngora's Soledades and the Problem of Modernity

Góngora's Soledades and the Problem of Modernity

CRYSTAL ANNE CHEMRIS
Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 194
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt9qdp4v
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  • Book Info
    Góngora's Soledades and the Problem of Modernity
    Book Description:

    Combining philological rigor with a capacity to engage the most contemporary transatlantic and comparatist concerns, this work situates Luis de Góngora's Soledades within the problematic evolution of Hispanic modernity. As well as offering an insightful analysis of the Soledades as an expression of the Baroque crisis in all its facets -epistemological, ontological, cultural and historical - the author reads the fragmented lyric subject of Gongorist poetics back against Renaissance precursors (Rojas' Celestina and the poetry of Boscán and Garcilaso) and in anticipation of the truncated and isolated subject of modernity. The study concludes with an examination of the interaction between the legacies of Gongorism and French Symbolism in the work of selected poets of the Latin American Vanguard (Gorostiza, Paz and Vallejo). CRYSTAL ANNE CHEMRIS is Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Iowa.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-547-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xx)
  6. Introduction: Renaissance and Solitude
    (pp. 1-20)

    TheSoledadescannot be understood without an appreciation of its heritage in the forces which shaped Renaissance literature. The breakdown in the feudal order gives rise to new literary forms which reflect the evolution of subjectivity, as society develops more modern social norms of inner life under the impact of what Norbert Elias has called the “civilizing” process.¹ In general terms, writers begin to reframe their aesthetic goals, moving beyond imitation toward increased creativity, autonomy and expressiveness.²

    This movement toward greater innovation and subjectivity in art is accompanied by a problematic subjectivism. The loss of the Medieval worldview gives rise...

  7. 1 Crisis and Form
    (pp. 21-50)

    The Baroque culture which informed Góngora’s creation of theSoledadesrepresents a further development of the crisis at the origins of modernity. Severo Sarduy and Marjorie Nicolson relate the advances in astronomy in the early seventeenth century, such as Kepler’s notion of elliptical orbits and the discovery of planetary imperfections revealed by the new optics, to a de-centered notion of the cosmos with broader epistemological implications (Sarduy,Barroco; Nicolson). The growth of the “new science” indeed represented a challenge to the established organization of knowledge. Europe experienced what Paul Hazard has termed a “crisis of consciousness,” foundering in a limbo...

  8. 2 Violence, Eros and Lyric Emotion
    (pp. 51-71)

    The mythological rape imagery with which theSoledadesopens may, at first glance, appear purely decorative; the time of year is denoted by an indirect reference to Taurus: “el mentido robador de Europa” (I. 2), and the pilgrim’s exemplary male beauty is evoked by his introduction as “el que ministrar podia la copa/ a Júpiter mejor que el garzón de Ida” (I. 7–8). Similarly the appearance of an owl at the closing falconry scene occurs through allusion to Ascalaphus and thus to the rape of Persephone: “el deforme fiscal de Proserpina” (II. 892; cf. II. 974ff.). Such uses of...

  9. 3 Self and World: The Crisis of Perception in The Soledades
    (pp. 72-86)

    The critique of sexual violence in theSoledadesrelates to a more encompassing critique of the process of epistemological and aesthetic mediation. If one accepts Bradley Nelson’s observation that theperegrinoconstructs his relationship to reality in an atmosphere of contingency, the journey through the labyrinth of the poem can be seen as a persistent engagement with the cracks in the symbolic order (“Góngora’sSoledades” 611). These tensions arise, again, in the breakdown of the Aristotelian–Scholastic, as well as Platonic, views of the world and the “epistemic and moral vacuum” (to use Spadaccini and Estudillo’s term) left in its...

  10. 4 Time, Space and Apocalypse: The Falconry Scene as Disruption of Prophecy
    (pp. 87-103)

    The breakdown in the boundaries of perception which arises out of the Baroque crisis of consciousness relates to an even more profound challenge to the sacerdotal, ordered worldview of the past. During the seventeenth century, the established perception of the very limits of time and space is called into question. The Baroque subject is stripped of a past sense of integration into the cosmos and faces the threat of dissolution in the indefinite expanse of the universe. Eternity and infinity seem to engulf him, and he projects his fear of self-dissolution onto the phenomenal world; he envisions the world engulfing...

  11. 5 Góngora and the Modern: “New Poetry”?
    (pp. 104-142)

    If the ontological crisis of the Baroque has been identified with the first stirrings of the modern, it is not surprising that theSoledades, in its expression of this crisis, announces some of the problems of modern poetics. Góngora’s creation of a “new poetry” has linked him to aesthetic modernity, and this connection can be studied from a variety of angles; the most obvious approach has been to study the revival of Góngora by the Generation of 1927. The influence of Góngora on this circle of poets has been adequately examined in Elsa Dehennin’s major studyLa résurgence de Góngora...

  12. WORKS CITED
    (pp. 143-168)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 169-174)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 175-175)