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Art Inscribed
Essays on Ekphrasis in Spanish Golden Age Poetry
Emilie L. Bergmann
Harvard University Press, 1979

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.


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The Battle of Lepanto
Elizabeth R. Wright
Harvard University Press, 2014
The defeat of the Ottomans by the Holy League fleet at the Battle of Lepanto (1571) was among the most celebrated international events of the sixteenth century. This volume anthologizes the work of twenty-two poets from diverse social and geographical backgrounds who composed Latin poetry, often modeled on Vergil and other Roman poets, in response to the news of the battle, the largest Mediterranean naval encounter since antiquity. Among the poems included is the two-book Austrias Carmen by the remarkable Juan Latino, a black African former slave who became a professor of Latin in Granada. The poems, including two previously unpublished, are here translated into English for the first time, along with fresh editions of the Latin texts.

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Dreams of Waking
An Anthology of Iberian Lyric Poetry, 1400-1700
Edited and Translated by Vincent Barletta, Mark L. Bajus, and Cici Malik
University of Chicago Press, 2013
In this anthology, Vincent Barletta, Mark L. Bajus, and Cici Malik treat the Iberian lyric in the late Middle Ages and early modernity as a deeply multilingual, transnational genre that needs to break away from the old essentialist ideas about language, geography, and identity in order to be understood properly. More and more, scholars and students are recognizing the limitations of single-language, nationalist, and period-bound canons and are looking for different ways to approach the study of literature. The Iberian Peninsula is an excellent site for this approach, where the history and politics of the region, along with its creative literature, need to be read and studied together with the way the works were composed by poets and eventually consumed by readers.
With a generous selection of more than one hundred poems from thirty-three poets, Dreams of Waking is unique in its coverage of the three main languages—Catalan, Portuguese, and Spanish—and lyrical styles employed by peninsular poets. It contains new translations of canonical poems but also translations of many poems that have never before been edited or translated. Brief headnotes provide essential details of the poets’ lives, and a general introduction by the volume editors shows how the poems and languages fruitfully intersect. With helpful annotations to the poetry, as well as a selected bibliography containing the most important editions and translations from all three of the main Iberian languages, this volume will be an indispensable tool for both specialists and students in comparative literature.


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The Iberian Apollonius of Tyre
Emily C. Francomano
Harvard University Press, 2024

A new translation of two medieval Spanish versions of the tale of Apollonius, a story central to the premodern literary imagination and a source for Shakespeare’s Pericles.

Incest, riddling, piracy, prostitution, shipwreck, Lazarus-like resuscitation, and seductive musical performances—the story of King Apollonius and his wanderings, with its riveting plot twists, has been told and retold in many languages since its late antique composition. No conventional romance hero, Apollonius proves his mettle not on the battlefield but through study, sport, music, and courtliness. The equally studious and courtly heroines of the romance—Luciana and Tarsiana, Apollonius’s wife and daughter—embark on their own adventures before the family reunites. Throughout, the king’s trials are cast as a Christian allegory of fortune.

Two Castillian versions are included in The Iberian Apollonius of Tyre. The thirteenth-century poem known as The Book of Apollonius, a creative adaptation by an unknown cleric, focuses on Apollonius as a pilgrim figure and Christianizes the narrative. The fifteenth-century prose Life and History of King Apollonius, a highly literal translation of the Latin Gesta Romanorum text by an anonymous Aragonese translator, is representative of vernacular humanism and linked with the genre of the short chivalric tale.

This volume presents new editions and English translations of these two complete, standalone medieval Spanish versions of the ancient legend.


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The Invisible Bridge / El Puente Invisible
Selected Poems of Circe Maia
Circe Maia
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015
A bilingual collection, The Invisible Bridge/El Puente Invisible gathers many of the luminous, deeply philosophical poems of Circe Maia, one of the few living poets left of the generation which brought Latin American writing to world prominence.

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Myth and Identity in the Epic of Imperial Spain
Elizabeth B. Davis
University of Missouri Press, 2000

The first in-depth analysis of some of the most important epic poems of the Spanish Golden Age, Myth and Identity in the Epic of Imperial Spain breathes new life into five of these long- neglected texts. Elizabeth Davis demonstrates that the epic must not be overlooked, for doing so creates a significant gap in one's ability to appraise not only the cultural practice of the imperial age, but also the purest expression of its ideology.

Davis's study focuses on heroic poetry written from 1569 to 1611, including Alonso de Ercilla's La Araucana, undeniably the most significant epic poem of its time. Also included are Diego de Hojeda's La Christiada, Juan Rufo's La Austriada,. Lope de Vega's Jerusalén Conquistada, and Cristóbal de Virués's Historia del Monserrate.

Examining these epics as the major site for the construction of cultural identities and Renaissance nationalist myths, Davis analyzes the means by which the epic constructs a Spanish sense of self. Because this sense of identity is not easily susceptible to direct representation, it is often derived in opposition to an "other," which serves to reaffirm Spanish cultural superiority. The Spanish Christian caballeros are almost always pitted against Amerindians, Muslims, Jews, or other adversaries portrayed as backward or heathen for their cultural and ethnic differences.

The pro-Castilian elite of sixteenth-century Spain faced the daunting task of constructing unity at home in the process of expansion and conquest abroad, yet ethnic and regional differences in the Iberian Peninsula made the creation of an imperial identity particularly difficult. The epic, as Davis shows, strains to convey the overriding image of a Spain that appears more unified than the Spanish empire ever truly was.

An important reexamination of the Golden Age canon, Myth and Identity in the Epic of Imperial Spain brings a new twist to the study of canon formation. While Davis does not ignore more traditional approaches to the literary text, she does apply recent theories, such as deconstruction and feminist criticism, to these poems, resulting in an innovative examination of the material.

Confronting such issues as canonicity, gender, the relationship between literature and Golden Age culture, and that between art and power, this publication offers scholars a new perspective for assessing Golden Age and Transatlantic studies.


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The Poetics of Epiphany in the Spanish Lyric of Today
Judith Nantell
Bucknell University Press, 2020
Drawing on the poetry of four major voices in the Spanish lyric of today, Judith Nantell explores the epistemic works of Luis Muñoz, Abraham Gragera, Josep M. Rodríguez, and Ada Salas, arguing that, for them, the poem is the fundamental means of exploring the nature of both knowledge and poetry. In this first interpretive analysis of the epistemic nature of their poetry, Nantell innovatively engages these poets, each of whom has contributed one of their own poems along with a previously unpublished explication of their chosen poem. Each also provides an original biographical sketch to support Nantell’s development of a poetics of epiphany.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press. 

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Rebellion Is the Circle of a Lover's Hands/Rebelió
Martín Espada
Northwestern University Press, 1995
In his masterful bilingual collection Rebellion Is the Circle of a Lover's Hands/Rebelión es el giro de manos del amante, acclaimed, award-winning poet Martín Espada explores and illuminates what it means to be Puerto Rican in the United States today.

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Selected Poems of Garcilaso de la Vega
A Bilingual Edition
Garcilaso de la Vega
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Garcilaso de la Vega (ca. 1501–36), a Castilian nobleman and soldier at the court of Charles V, lived a short but glamorous life. As the first poet to make the Italian Renaissance lyric style at home in Spanish, he is credited with beginning the golden age of Spanish poetry. Known for his sonnets and pastorals, gracefully depicting beauty and love while soberly accepting their passing, he is shown here also as a calm student of love’s psychology and a critic of the savagery of war.

This bilingual volume is the first in nearly two hundred years to fully represent Garcilaso for an Anglophone readership. In facing-page translations that capture the music and skill of Garcilaso’s verse, John-Dent Young presents the sonnets, songs, elegies, and eclogues that came to influence generations of poets, including San Juan de la Cruz, Luis de Leon, Cervantes, and Góngora. The Selected Poems of Garcilaso de la Vega will help to explain to the English-speaking public this poet’s preeminence in the pantheon of Spanish letters.


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Subtle Subversions
Reading Golden Age Sonnets by Iberian Women
Gwyn Fox
Catholic University of America Press, 2008
Subtle Subversions is the first full-length, contextual, and analytical study of the sonnets of five seventeenth-century women in Spain and Portugal: Luisa de Carvajal y Mendoza, Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán, Sor María de Santa Isabel, Leonor de la Cueva y Silva, and Sor Violante del Cielo

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Women Poets of Spain, 1860-1990
John C. Wilcox
University of Illinois Press, 1997

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