Regarded by many as the finest poet of twentieth-century Spain, Antonio Machado y Ruiz (1875–1939) is not well known outside the Spanish-speaking world. This volume will introduce him to Anglo-American readers, enabling them to experience at first hand the subtle nuances of his verse. Some two hundred fifty poems in Spanish, drawn from Machado’s entire oeuvre, are accompanied on facing pages by sensitive and beautifully fluent translations which render the originals accessible to the mind and the ear.Alan S. Trueblood annotates the individual poems, placing them in context and illuminating their allusions and undertones. In addition, he provides a substantial biographical and critical Introduction. This gives an overview of Machado’s life, as a poet and teacher and wide-ranging commentator on cultural, political, and social affairs. (Forced into exile at the end of the Civil War, he crossed the Pyrenees on foot and died a month later.) The Introduction also discusses the qualities of Machado’s predominantly quiet and reflective verse, as well as the development of the thought of this major poet.
Federico García Lorca (1898–1936) had enormous impact on the generation of American poets who came of age during the cold war, from Robert Duncan and Allen Ginsberg to Robert Creeley and Jerome Rothenberg. In large numbers, these poets have not only translated his works, but written imitations, parodies, and pastiches—along with essays and critical reviews. Jonathan Mayhew’s Apocryphal Lorca is an exploration of the afterlife of this legendary Spanish writer in the poetic culture of the United States.
The book examines how Lorca in English translation has become a specifically American poet, adapted to American cultural and ideological desiderata—one that bears little resemblance to the original corpus, or even to Lorca’s Spanish legacy. As Mayhew assesses Lorca’s considerable influence on the American literary scene of the latter half of the twentieth century, he uncovers fundamental truths about contemporary poetry, the uses and abuses of translation, and Lorca himself.
Emilie Bergmann discusses the poetic tradition of ekphrasis, the description of visual works of art, from Garcilaso de la Vega to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. The first two essays give a historical perspective: Lope de Vega reflects a traditional hierarchical view of the artist in harmony with the divine creator, while the controversial Luis de Góngora projects a Promethean image.The remaining three essays concern the relationship between verbal and visual systems of signs: Góngora and Paravicino write inscriptions upon the work of El Greco; Lope and Góngora interpret allegorical paintings, and several Baroque poets exploit the possibilities of the Petrarchan portrait. Dr. Bergmann demonstrates that ekphrasis exposes the boundaries between the arts and the limitations of artistic imitation, while using that limitation as a source for poetic wit.
Authoring the Past surveys medieval Catalan historiography, shedding light on the emergence and evolution of historical writing and autobiography in the Middle Ages, on questions of authority and authorship, and on the links between history and politics during the period. Jaume Aurell examines texts from the late twelfth to the late fourteenth century—including the Latin Gesta comitum Barcinonensium and four texts in medieval Catalan: James I’s Llibre dels fets, the Crònica of Bernat Desclot, the Crònica of Ramon Muntaner, and the Crònica of Peter the Ceremonious—and outlines the different motivations for the writing of each.
For Aurell, these chronicles are not mere archaeological artifacts but rather documents that speak to their writers’ specific contemporary social and political purposes. He argues that these Catalonian counts and Aragonese kings were attempting to use their role as authors to legitimize their monarchical status, their growing political and economic power, and their aggressive expansionist policies in the Mediterranean. By analyzing these texts alongside one another, Aurell demonstrates the shifting contexts in which chronicles were conceived, written, and read throughout the Middle Ages.
The first study of its kind to make medieval Catalonian writings available to English-speaking audiences, Authoring the Past will be of interest to scholars of history and comparative literature, students of Hispanic and Romance medieval studies, and medievalists who study the chronicle tradition in other languages.
When María Vela y Cueto (1561–1617) declared that God had personally ordered her to take only the Eucharist as food and to restore primitive dress and public penance in her aristocratic convent, the entire religious community, according to her confessor, “rose up in wrath.” Yet, when Vela died, her peers joined with the populace to declare her a saint. In her autobiography and personal letters, Vela speaks candidly of the obstacles, perils, and rewards of re-negotiating piety in a convent where devotion to God was no longer expressed through rigorous asceticism. Vela’s experience, told in her own words, reveals her shrewd understanding of the persuasive power of a woman’s body.
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