Love Poetry in the Spanish Golden Age

Love Poetry in the Spanish Golden Age

Eros, Eris and Empire

Isabel Torres


Tamesis Books



Love poetry in the Spanish Golden Age redefines the lyric poetry that is located at the centre of Imperial Spanish culture's own self-image and self-definition.
This work engages with a broader evaluation of early modern poetics that foregrounds the processes rather than the products of thinking. The locus of the study is the Imperial 'home' space, where love poetry meets early modern empire at the inception of a very conflicted national consciousness, and where the vernacular language, Castilian, emerges in the encounter as a strategic site of national and imperial identity. The political is, therefore, a pervasive presence, teased out where relevant in recognition of the poet's sensitivity to the ideologies within which writing comes into being. But the primary commitment of the book is to lyric poetry, and to poets, individually and in their dynamic interconnectedness. Moving beyond a re-evaluation of critical responses to four major poets of the period (Garcilaso de la Vega, Herrera, Góngora and Quevedo), this study disengages respectfully with the substantial body of biographical research that continues to impact upon our understanding of the genre, and renegotiates the Foucauldian concept of the 'epistemic break', often associated with the anti-mimetic impulses of the Baroque. This more flexible model accommodates the multiperspectivism that interrogated Imperial ideology even in the earliest sixteenth-century poetry, and allows for the exploration of new horizons in interpretation.

Isabel Torres is Professor of Spanish Golden Age Literature and Head of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at Queen's University, Belfast.


October 2013
244 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855662650
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books
BISAC LIT004280, LIT019000, LIT014000
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Table of Contents

Garcilaso de la Vega (c. 1501-1536): Transfiguration and Transvaluation
Garcilaso de la Vega: Luz de nuestra nación?
Fernando de Herrera (1534-1597): 'Righting' the middle - Centres, Circles and Algunas Obras (1582)
Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561-1627): Into the dark
Luis de Góngora y Argote: Out of the dark: emulative poetry in motion
Francisco de Quevedo Villegas (1580-1645): Metaphor, Materiality and Metaphysics


One of the greatest values of this study is its seamless coverage of each poet. By singling out the poems that seem best to exemplify their thematics, the author adeptly brings up for review past and current criticism, from the poets' contemporaries to the most recent studies by international scholars, jettisoning tired polemics in the process. Vigorously questioning and challenging conventional interpretations, Torres's richly elaborated analyses revision Spanish Renaissance lyrics from a fresh, new perspective that resituates the poets both aesthetically and historically. Her love for poetry has everything to do with it. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

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