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Hispania. Volume 78, Number 3, September 1995

Unfortunately Russia is not entirely European. She has however vast resources and cannot fail to become the main threat in 15 years from now. Therefore foster Germany, gradually build her up, bring her into a federation of Western Europe. Unfortunately this must all be done under the cloak of a holy alliance between England, Russia and America. In London, the cooperative instinct was embodied in Anthony Eden and many senior Foreign Office officials, who believed it imperative to create a working relationship with the Soviet Union. Even in the last months of the European war, when he urged redisposition of forces in northern Germany and northeast Italy to pre-empt Russian territorial gains the thrusts toward Berlin and Vienna discussed in chapter seven , this was to strengthen his hand for the peace conference rather than to embark on military confrontation.

Thus, the majority of leading policymakers in London and Washington, particularly politicians and diplomats, inclined toward a policy of co-operation rather than confrontation during that second half of the wartime alliance. There were, of course, tactical differences between those favouring an open-handed approach as opposed to tough quid pro quo bargaining as the better way to achieve a working partnership.

Churchill, again, wavered between the two poles. He and Roosevelt made their hazardous and enervating journey to Yalta the following February in the same spirit of compromise. The President, unconsciously anticipating the famous words of Stalin to Milovan Djilas, is recorded as telling Senators before he left Washington that although spheres of influence had been mulled over at Teheran the idea kept coming up because the occupying forces had the power in the areas where their arms were present and each knew that the others could not force things to an issue.

He stated that the Russians had the power in Eastern Europe, that it was obviously impossible to have a break with them and that, therefore, the only practicable course was to use what influence we had to ameliorate the situation. Tolerably free elections, plus some degree of openness to trade and ideas, were the minimum conditions. Hence the Declaration on Liberated Europe at Yalta and the deal on reconstructing the Polish government. Yet it is worth asking why policymakers in London and Washington were so hopeful that Stalin could be co-opted into a postwar concert, including an open spheres-of-influence deal for Eastern Europe.

Three spoken or unspoken assumptions should be noted. The first was the expectation that there would be no long-term American presence in Europe after the war. Since this runs counter to the whole history of the Cold War, it deserves to be underlined. Asked by General George C. After all, France is your baby and will take a lot of nursing in order to bring it to the point of walking alone. They disposed British policymakers to seek co-operation because of the superiority of Russian power, particularly on land and in Europe.

But it does not explain the expectation that this sphere would be tolerably open. During the wartime alliance, the conviction grew — to borrow the phrase famously used by Margaret Thatcher after her first meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in — that Stalin was a man with whom you could do business. One needs to remember how remote and not merely enigmatic the Kremlin leadership was to American and British leaders before Diplomatic staff had minimal opportunity to make contacts; even for Ambassadors, meetings with Stalin were extremely rare; and press analysis of Soviet politics was minimal compared with the hothouse atmosphere of Washington.

Then, suddenly, at the very top, the Kremlin became accessible. Churchill met him for extended summits on four occasions before VE-Day and Roosevelt for two. Of course, Stalin was a difficult, often truculent, interlocutor. In Harriman and Beaverbrook, Eden and then Churchill were all subject to the one, two, three treatment, in which a bruising middle meeting was sandwiched between cordial opening and closing sessions. It was less evident in the conferences in the second phase of the wartime alliance, from Teheran onward, and this in itself was taken as a sign of deepening trust.

Most visitors also developed a real respect for Stalin, while never entirely forgetting the terror on which his regime rested. Stalin is not at all a colorful man, he has no magnetism, but he talks in a quiet, earthy manner which is convincing. And to have witnessed a beginning of molding friendship between him and FDR, with very obvious proofs of their liking for each other, gives me a greater sense of security for the future. In particular Joe has been extremely good. He is a great man, and showed up very impressively against the background of the other two ageing statesmen.

On the first day, he sat for the first hour and a half without saying a word — there was no call for him to do so! The President flapped about and the P[rime] M[inister] boomed, but Joe just sat taking it all in and being rather amused. When he did chip in, he never used a superfluous word, and spoke very much to the point.

Such nicknames suggest, of course, familiarity and approachability — the avuncular, pipe-smoking image of Soviet wartime propaganda. At times, the condescension was explicit. The connotations of the first part of that remark are as important as the hubris of the second. On one wall, there were three or four life-sized paintings. In , the portraits had been those of Karl Marx, Engels, and others. In , they were of four field-marshals from Russian military history, including Suvarov [Suvorov].

There had also been a change as regards Stalin himself. In , he had been very much a civilian in his grey smock, breeches, and field boots. In he was in full sail as a field-marshal, suitably hung with red stars and similar appropriate decoration.

Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, the British Ambassador in Moscow, dated the iconographic revolution more precisely to the summer of , after the great tank battle at Kursk, which began the Soviet drive to Berlin. They had pushed enlarged photographs of Marx and Engels into a corner. There was no sign of the Hitler rants or Mussolini bombast that many British diplomats had endured before the war.

Even in uniform, Stalin did not seem like a dictator. In other words, Stalin could probably be trusted — that became the axiom of summit diplomacy. He was wrong. Echo of Munich. I feel also that their word is their bond. The parallels with pre-war appeasement do not end there. Chamberlain, in particular, believed Hitler was teetering between the two and was therefore susceptible to diplomatic blandishments.

He doesn't dare to tell me. What a horrible thing! An automobile ran over him. If you want to do a good job, don't rush through it. We can't tolerate such an outrage. Three pedestrians were victims of an accident. So much noise rattles me. He was stunned and didn't know what to answer. We can still get there on time. Even now it wouldn't be possible. He hasn't come yet.

Even if he doesn't come we'll have to begin. Though I wasn't born in the country, I know it very well. He left the class because he was feeling sick. Is there enough room in the car for everybody? Which is cheaper, the bus or the street car? He couldn't maintain his authority. They reported it to the authorities. The car moved very slowly. We're not making any progress in our work.

The floods ruined the crops.

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He agreed to what they said. He's a very promising young man. He gets ahead of everybody in his work. He shamed his whole family by his conduct. After he said it, he was ashamed. The mechanic repaired the damage without delay. The shipment was damaged by the rain. We have to notify the police. I'm warning you for the last time. They revived the fire by putting on more wood. Why don't you keep your eyes open?

Step lively; it's very late. Wake up; you're half asleep. I want to help him carry the packages. Don't smoke on an empty stomach. Let's take that chance. He likes games of chance. He chose them at random. This would embarrass anyone. When I told him that he was very much embarrassed. The sugar industry. The enemy suffered many casualties. There was a general fall in prices.

He dropped out of the club. For lack of payment they dropped him from the subscription list. Let's go down the stairs slowly. The temperature fell. Bring the suitcase down from my room. Will you help me take the suitcases down from the rack? They saw us as they were getting off the train.

He bent over to tie his shoe. I want a low table. He's shorter than his brother. They were speaking in a low voice. Let's put the basses on the left. The temperature's fallen below zero. The superintendent lives on the ground floor. What's my bank balance this month? Don't rock in the chair; it's going to break. Three shots were heard. He had three bullet wounds in his chest.

This bucket leaks. They're giving tickets free. He tried to get her on the phone without success. Can I cash my check in this bank? All the benches are taken. The skirt had three red bands. He wore a red sash across his chest. That band gives me a headache. A gang of thieves works these parts. Please bathe the children. I'm going to take a bath. It's very pretty and besides it's cheap. They sell things very cheap in this store.

Hispania. Volume 78, Number 3, September | Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes

There's a sale today in that department store. He eats too much. Don't talk nonsense. What he did was an outrage. I like her an awful lot. How many times have you made the trip by boat? We need an iron bar. The spectators cheered the players on. See bastar enough! He dicho que te calles. That's enough!

I told you to shut up! Do you have enough money? She's a rather pretty woman. There wasn't enough food for all. The suit's made of very rough material. Please beat the eggs. He defeated his enemy. They haven't unpacked their trunks yet. He doesn't appreciate favors. The profits were very high. He doesn't know the difference between good and evil. He spoke very well. The beer's very cold. He has a great deal of property. He's rich rather than poor. All right or Correct. Pay close attention to what I tell you.

Have you bought the tickets? Give me the money in fives and tens. You have to put a screen in front of the door. I wish I'd bought a white dress! There are white people, Indians, and Negroes in this city. They hit the target. Leave this sheet blank. They hit the mark three times. The soldiers had target practice in the morning. He didn't open his mouth all afternoon. The subway entrance is on the corner. The child's sleeping on his stomach. He was lying on his back on the beach.

What an embarrassing situation that was! What sultry weather we're having! What a shameful action! Blow the horn so that car'll let us pass. I'm out of breath. Give me that iron ball. We bought some tennis balls. There was a crowd of people at the entrance of the theater. She carried a silk purse. I need a paper bag to put it in. I don't know what the quotations are on the exchange today. They used a pump to take out the water. The bomb destroyed three houses. It struck like a bombshell! Where is there a filling station? Se puso una bomba. He got drunk [ Am ]. Three bulbs have burned out.

Thank you for your kindness.

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Please wait a moment. It's dirt-cheap. He was lying on the bed. Be careful, don't throw away those papers. They've fired him. Look how that ball bounces. I want a can of tomatoes. When he heard it he jumped. The theater was jammed. Be careful, it's a fierce bull. He got very mad. I don't like this paper; it's too shiny. He gave her a diamond bracelet. Let's drink to your health! He's always joking. I said it as a joke. He takes everything lightly. He's abrupt in his way of speaking. That's a very good car. It was a good opportunity. I'm not feeling very well.

Bueno, nos veremos a las cinco. All right, we'll meet at five. He gave it to me willingly. Good morning. They made a terrible racket. He went out with a bundle of clothes in his hand. He has a swelling on his head. As soon as he saw what he had to do, he ducked out.

They were making fun of him. Put these letters in the mail box. He's a perfect gentleman. Here's your bill, sir. She wears her hair loose. Nothing else will fit in the trunk. The piano won't go through that door. There's no doubt that he's English. That child has a very large head. He was the leader of the movement. You have to use your brains in this work. He plunged into the water head first. Business is in a mess. He never loses his head. Ese proyecto no tiene pies ni cabeza. There's no rhyme or reason to that plan.

From end to end. We can't leave any loose ends. They passed the Cape of Good Hope. He has corporal's stripes. They put an end to the conversation. I know the story from beginning to end. They carried out the plan right away. Take this junk out of here. Every day he says something different. Every one paid for his own meal. He asks me for it every time he sees me. A heavy rain fell. He dropped to his knees. The suit's becoming to him. His birthday falls on Sunday. He was taken sick a few days ago. I didn't realize it until much later. She fell down the stairs. Be careful, don't drop the tray.

He was lame after the fall. The opposition of the House caused the fall of the government.

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He gave her a box. He put a lot of money in the savings bank. They keep their jewelry in the safe. Look and see how much the cash register rings up. We have to see how much cash we have on hand. I'm going to buy a pack of cigarettes. They've lost the key to the drawer. They received a box of books. She turned him down. They flunked him in geometry. He got a cramp while he was swimming. The dagger penetrated to his heart. I got home drenched. He pulled his hat down to his eyes. Let's figure out the cost of the trip. Please heat the water. They warmed themselves in the sun. He's had a fever for the past few days.

Is this good material? Be careful, the soup's very hot. Why are you so quiet? He kept quiet while we were talking. He kept the truth from us. Shut up! You're talking too much. Se callaron de repente. All of a sudden they stopped talking. What street do you live on? I had no choice but to throw him out. When his business failed he was left penniless. We're in a blind alley. There was a calm after the storm. He takes his time when he works. These pills will ease the pain. He didn't calm down until much later.

I don't like the heat. It's very warm today. I'm warm. Everything he's saying is slander. What size shoe do you wear? I'm going to chock the wheels so the car won't move. Please make my bed. He's been confined to bed for the past three months. What kind of a camera do you have? They were talking together like old pals. The maid hasn't made up the room yet. Ask the waitress for the menu. I want to reserve a first-class stateroom.

He hasn't changed a bit since I saw him. Can you change a ten-peso bill for me? Has there been any change in policy? Do you have any change? What's the rate of exchange on the dollar today? I'll give you this book in exchange for the other one. He's very fond of walking. You have to move cautiously in this matter. Is the road all right to drive on? I don't know how to go about getting it. They started out the following day.

He was in his shirt sleeves. The soldiers will soon return to camp. I didn't hear how many times the clock struck. We lived in the country for many years. She found her first gray hair. She has a lot of gray hair. We passed through the Panama Canal. The boat was approaching the English Channel. They brought us a basket of fruit. There are tennis courts in this park. What's the latest song hit? Light the candle. Give me a light for my cigarette. They decided to exchange prisoners. I'm tired. This man's very tiresome. It's a very tiring job. She gets tired quickly.

He's always harping on the same string. I want to learn that song. The tenor sang very well tonight. I'll have to tell it to him straight from the shoulder. How much do I owe you? He's a singing teacher. I like folk songs. Stand the book on edge. A lot of sugar cane is grown in Cuba. He carried a cane. They have to fix the water pipe; it's clogged.

He bought a double-barreled shotgun. Have you seen the Grand Canyon? He wears a Spanish cape. The door needs another coat of paint. Poor people, they're on the downgrade! This tank has a capacity of thirty liters. He's a very capable business man. I'd like to talk to the foreman. It's a room large enough for a library. He's not capable of such a low trick. I've been told that he's a very competent person. The company has a capital of a million dollars. They took a trip to the capital. I've read only the first three chapters. Don't pay any attention to her whims.

She has a very pretty face. I don't understand the words on the face of the coin. He had to face the music. He's a man of very good character. Everything she does shows she has character. You have to put more coal in the stove. They were splitting their sides. He doesn't have enough money to travel. This mule can't carry a heavier load. It's a cargo ship. They're taking the freight out of the car. They loaded the truck. The battery has to be charged.

The cavalry charged the enemy. I'm charging this amount to your bill. He was very affectionate with his parents. My best regards to your family. I usually eat meat once a day. This cold weather gives me goose flesh. Do you want beef or pork?

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I need a leather briefcase. The correspondence is kept in several files. I like horse races. They live on Third Avenue. He's preparing for a diplomatic career. He wrote it hurriedly. He sprinted to catch up to them. The highways in this country are excellent. There was a mule cart on the road. In Cervantes, it is a projection into the distant past; in Virgil, it is a projection into the distant future.

Benet, Juan. Barcelona: La Gaya Ciencia, En ciernes. Madrid: Taurus, Madrid: Siruela, Barcelona: Seix Barral, Madrid: Alianza, Cervantes, Miguel de. La Galatea. Juan Bautista Avalle-Arce. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, Dyson, John y Anita Rozlapa. Empson, William. Some Versions of Pastoral. Londres: Chatto and Windus, Gazarian Gautier, Marie-Lise.

Interviews with Spanish Writers. Herzberger, David K. Kathleen M. Lee, M. Death and Rebirth in Virgil's Arcadia. Manteiga, Roberto C. Critical Approaches to the Writings of Juan Benet. Hanover: UP of New England, Marinelli, Peter V. Londres: Methuen, Marx, Leo. New York. Oxford U P, Iberian Pastoral Characters. Washington, D. Orringer, Nelson R. Summerhill, Stephen J. Vega, Lope de. Edwin S. Madrid: Castalia, Weatherly, Joan. Materials, Methods, Resources. Frederick O. New York: MLA, Its language and allusions require dedication from the part of the reader, yet even after surmounting this hurdle, the student often finds the work difficult to enjoy.

Nevertheless, as one of the baroque's supreme examples, Soledades must be taught. An awareness of its rhythm -the thematic and structural regularity which encompasses both its parts- may help provide the teacher and new reader with a manageable global frame of reference. Veteran critics and teachers of this classic might view an analysis which reduces the convoluted and far from systematic poem to a series of wavelike patterns as very simplistic. However, due to the difficulty presented by the poetic diction and allusions used in this work -which like the goats' milk served the shipwrecked pilgrim, is almost too hard for the spoon 1.

Because of the extensive employment of these allusions, before analyzing each of their particular manifestations in the poem students will have to refresh their acquaintance with several Greco-Roman figures whose mythological roles provide a clue to the perception of Soledades ' rise and fall rhythm. The classical figures Icarus, Sisyphus and the Phoenix are alluded to explicitly in the text; other rhythmical images, such as the movement of the birds and specifically the raven's, require interpretation to be viewed in a metarhetorical light.

Icarus, son of Daedalus the artificer, dons wings of feathers and wax fashioned by his father to help them escape from the labyrinth built by Daedalus himself to house the monstrous minotaur. Excited by the experience, Icarus flies higher than his father had counseled, his wings melt in the sun, and he tragically falls, drowning in the sea. The Phoenix, on the other hand, never dies. This bird-like creature represents intrinsic regeneration because even as it consumes itself in ashes, it rises again out of its ashes. Sisyphus, however, does not fare so well.

Punished for not returning to the underworld as he had promised, he is condemned to push a boulder up a mountain and as soon as it rolls down, to push it up [] again without respite. The pattern of rise and fall inherent to the fates of these three mythological figures provides a key to Soledades' rhythm. The allusion to Ascalaphus in the final lines of the poem, comes as a reminder of yet another cyclical pattern of rise and fall, namely, of Ceres' grief every time her daughter Persephone descends into Pluto's underworld, and the goddess' joy every time her daughter resurfaces.

To enhance understanding of the text, students should be encouraged to seek more detailed descriptions of these mythological figures in primary sources, such as Ovid's Metamorphoses or, alternatively, in a dictionary of Greek mythology. The last bird to fall during the falconry episode is the raven, whose feathers are unmercilessly plucked out by the other birds. The raven emits one last pathetic sound before falling to its death, unfeathered like Icarus. In Greek mythology Apollo did not kill his favorite bird, the raven, but he did blacken and silence it because it came to tell him that his Apollo's wife was committing adultery.

Significantly, it is the god of poetry and the pastoral who condemns the most expressive bird to emit unpleasant croaks in lieu of its former sweet voice and capacity to speak. The silencing of the raven thus relates to the silencing of any teller. The blinding of the owl during the falconry episode evokes the fate of yet another ill advised mythological teller: Ceres turns Ascalaphus into an owl for telling Pluto that Persephone -whose freedom depended upon not eating anything in the underworld- had stealthily tasted a pommergranate.

In Soledades, implicit references to metarhetorical concerns, and in particular to the processes of telling and response, do not stop short at the symbolic silencing of the poet, nor the metonymical parallelism drawn between the birds' song and their feathers on the one hand, and the poet's voice and pen on the other.

Yet especially in the second Soledad , references to writing and the process of composition tend to describe writing in self-effacing or ephemeral terms, and composition as a futile and circular process. Due to Soledades' pervasive play with metarhetorical issues, one may figuratively speak of the protagonist as a creator and teller of his experiences and of the pilgrimage as a poetical adventure 8. The pilgrimage thus becomes an act of storytelling. On the metarhetorical level of interpretation, the poetic adventure is presented in Soledades as a risky activity which may end in tragic fall.

The awareness of such an encompassing rhythmical pattern, accessible to students encountering Soledades for the first time at the graduate [] or advanced undergraduate stages, may help smooth the process of acquiring a taste for such a long and dense work. It is no coincidence that a painting of the falling Icarus graces the cover of John Beverley's edition of the Soledades 9. The fate of Icarus epitomizes Soledades' polarized tension, which, from different perspectives, has received due critical attention.

The longitudinal modes are interrelated, intensified or diminished, but always recurrent. Beverley interprets the counterpunctual movement of ascent and descent which frames the two poems as a progressive descent from genesis and spring to darkness and winter Aspects Dichotomies are central to Soledades , where even at the surface level of the action -in the adventures that the pilgrim experiences and observes- we are already confronted with a recurring pattern of agitated oscillations: upward surging movements driven by ambition, pride or liberating and creative activities invariably followed by a gravitational fall caused by envy, depression, artifice or natural law.

The pilgrim, a rejected lover, takes to the sea to forget his pain and shame, but there he suffers a new tragedy when his ship sinks in a storm. As the poem begins, however, we encounter this pilgrim-poet-lover at a relatively high point in his adventures, for he has survived the shipwreck and rises out of the sea like a regenerated Phoenix. It can thus be said that Soledades begins on a high note. Washed ashore by the waves, the pilgrim lands in a nest:. Later, the pilgrim reaches even greater satisfaction and safety in the laborers' hut, where he falls asleep, grateful that he has avoided the fate of Sisyphus 1.

This thankful emotional state proves to be short lived, though, for on the next day, following the wedding to which he has been invited, the dejected lover's emotional descent [] begins anew, culminating at the end of the poem in his willful return to the sea. The pilgrim, who for a few days strives to partake of human company, thus condemns himself like Icarus to a permanent grave in the sea.

The wedding itself constitutes the highest point in the poem's wave-like oscillations. Safe and surrounded by simple good people, the pilgrim almost forgets his sorrow. The beauty of the bride and the excitement of the couple's union further inspires him and renews his faith in at least some sections of humanity. Yet the idea of the consummation of this couple's love, and especially the sight of the bride's beauty, reminds the pilgrim of his hopeless situation. Admiring the bride he thinks of his beloved, and the inability to forget her immediately alienates him emotionally from the happy scene.

This process of alienation from humanity culminates at the end of the second part, when he returns to a permanent exile at sea. Between the moment when he rises out of the sea like a Phoenix, and the moment when like a fallen Icarus he returns to it, the pilgrim experiences and observes other patterns of rise and fall. In the second part he intervenes successfully in favor of two fishermen's love affairs, another high point in the poem but one which once again reminds him of his inability to succeed in his own love affair.

After this experience he witnesses a falconry contest in which small birds are systematically slaughtered by trained hawks. On the level of the action, this reminds him of the hated courtly artificiality he has left behind. But symbolically, the fall of the birds, as was mentioned above and will be analyzed in detail below, also represents the silencing and blinding of the teller.

The series of wavelike oscillations that run throughout the poem invariably encompass problems of love, social corruption and the poetic endeavor: Soledades' thematic undertones.


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As has been previously noted, besides the level of the action and the metarhetorical level which at times cannot be separated from one other , the pattern of rise and fall also exists at other levels of the poem. Most obviously, it manifests itself structurally in the division into five days clearly marked by the rising and setting of the sun In relation to rhythm, the employment of the sun as a structural marker of days and as a concrete metaphor for the beloved, ends with a brief consideration of the metarhetorical employment of the sun as an extended metaphor of the lover's memory.

Seeking the light of a lodge, whose inhabitants receive him warmly in all their rustic simplicity, the pilgrim lays down to sleep that night with the blissful notion that he shall not be a Sisyphus. These fireworks are compared to Phaeton, who tried to prove his legitimacy by riding his father's sun carriage across the sky -another example of tragic over-ambitiousness. Compared to the previous two sunrises, the fourth day which inaugurates Soledades 2 is ushered in rather pathetically; from the very beginning pessimism invades the second narrative, sequel to a sexual and social bliss from which the protagonist feels excluded.

Although this day ends with the arrangement of two more fruitful love-affairs between fishermen and fishermen's daughters, the language used to describe the fourth day's sunset already draws upon the destructive sentiments of envy and frustration that ultimately suffuse the poem. The last day rises slowly, to end with relatively rapid but vague descriptions of sundown and the final precipitous image of [] Persephone disappearing into the darkness of the underworld:.

These final images completely oppose those of security and fertility which surround Soledades' beginning, the wedding on the third day, and, although less forcefully, the fishermen's love affairs on the fourth day. Ceres will bless the world each time her daughter sees the light of the world again, and she will curse it when Persephone plunges back into the underworld.

The poet-pilgrim of the Soledades plays into a similar cycle. For fifty years he has been unable to forget his ambitious love nor has he been able to lay down his ambitious pen :. The beloved is portrayed as a star that invariably rekindles the lover's thoughts. He tries to forget her but this is evidently impossible because his memory regularly produces her unattainable image, condemning him to a continuous state of mourning:.

In very simplistic terms, we can map the pattern of rise and fall vis a vis the beloved as follows: the protagonist falls in love with a fashionable lady a daring gesture , and is rejected a fall ; he goes to sea to escape the prison of an impossible love but finds himself imprisoned instead in the loneliness and dangers of his adventures; he tries to forget her another optimistic gesture , but cannot. More complex are the references to the regenerative power of memory invariably accompanied by implicit references to writing, as if the inability to forget the beloved induces writing.

Thus, even the possibility of sublimating his sad situation by expressing it through speech or writing, is frustrated by the inadequacy of the means employed to do so. The beloved's image becomes a net or a labyrinth from which the lover cannot escape, and his pilgrimage is like a river which must always return to its origins in the vivid memory of the beloved. He may escape by means of artifice, as did Daedalus, but even artifice is guided by individual temperament and therefore has its own set of risks. Artifice in Soledades is naturally the poem itself.

The descriptions of the rivers that the pilgrim sees during his pastoral sojourn provide an implicit commentary on the process [] of composition of the Soledades themselves. A comparison between the rivers described in the first and second Soledad , reinforces the movement from optimism to pessimism clearly registered between the two parts. The possibility of interpreting the description of the rivers as a reference to the process of composition is reinforced by this allusion to Daedalus, the classical example of a creative artificer.

In Ovid's Metamorphoses , the story of Icarus' fall is preceded by that of Daedalus' labyrinth, described in terms of streams of flowing water:. In the second Soledad , Daedalus' labyrinth is explicitly compared to the fishermen's nets, another symbol of human artifice:. The above is similar to the poem itself. Yet the image of the sea as alternately tomb or origin is already present in the first river,. And like the river, the Icarus-pilgrim-poet returns inevitably to the sea in spite of the ambitious need to create and love: both origin and bane of his existence.

The impossibility of fleeing from the memory of his beloved prevents the shipwrecked lover from settling down happily in the sylvan myth. Instead, he follows his suicidal and self-defeatist impulses, returning to the sea and imagining his fate inscribed in intangible and ephemeral terms which will ultimately produce no lasting effect. Given the agony of the intense fluctuations in Soledades , it is not surprising to encounter the theme of mediocritas , or the golden mean, as counteracting advice. The counsel given Icarus by his father is echoed by the pilgrim when he blesses the newlyweds; i.

Even the beautiful sylvan marriage already contains the potential seeds of its destruction at the hand of envious neighbors, a danger which, at another level of the work, plays itself out metaphorically when the symbols of the poetic endeavor fall aground ripped to pieces by the beaks and claws of envy and artificiality. From within the fictional world of the poem, the pilgrimage is merely a bridge from one type of sorrow into another, namely, from unrequited love and the artificial life at court into the dangerous seafaring exile which constitutes the thematic backbone of the poem.

On the metarhetorical level, where the pilgrimage is interpreted as an act of composition, a similar self-defeatist pattern occurs. Writing is depicted in the Soledades as an ephemeral and intangible enterprise that provides no consolation for the pilgrim's luckless love life:. His unrequited love will be inscribed upon ethereal elements like waves and wind, produced with such an intangible instrument as foam.

Love is one poetic pretext in Soledades and the pastoral as an antidote against artificiality is another. Furthermore, the rejection of the lover is linked to the same courtly artificiality that taints art and foments jealousy and envy two recurrently destructive sentiments in Soledades. Love favors laborers and fishermen, people devoid of artifice, who shape a natural sort of foam creative ground through their work, while the pilgrim, who mediates a fruitful consummation of the second pastoral love affair in Soledades , can lend his own quill only to bitterness.

Descriptions of the poetic endeavor fall to their most pessimistic ebb towards the end of the poem, yet the poem itself, a concrete product of that endeavor, lays concretely on the lap of its reader. The poetic endeavor, then, is not intangible: only time can tell how ephemeral or immortal it shall ultimately be. The lack of simplicity deplored in the Soledades is precisely exemplified by it. The values which it purports to endorse in its pastoral fictional world stand at perplexing odds with its style, a tension that once again plays into the general rhythm of ascending ambition and descending frustration.

In the falconry episode, the pattern of rise and fall is immediately evident in the trajectory of the birds who are allowed to fly up as if towards freedom, only to be brought down for the sport of the falcon trainers and their guests, amongst whom is the pilgrim. The pilgrim evinces special interest in the Doral, who exactly like himself in the course of the poem, seeks shelter in some rushes only to find that he has been deluded by their utopian safety. Apollo blackened and silenced his raven, who was the most eloquent of birds, as punishment for telling him a truthful but tactless tale.

In the falconry contest at the end of Soledades , it is precisely the raven, caught between two powerful rivals, who falls last. Unfeathered like poor Icarus, the raven literally utters its last croak:. Yet already at the beginning of Soledades 2 the pilgrim's life in exile is described as a mere asonorous mark in the translucent annals of the wind 2.

Soledades ends with the general butchering of figures related to song and writing, and with a specific blinding and silencing of figures who play the mythological role of tellers. He also points out Ascalaphus' role as usher of death and darkness [] represented in the Soledades through the gouging out of the owl's eyes during the falconry contest. Ascalaphus, it must be remembered, was turned into an owl because of his tell-tale role in the incident of Persephone's abduction into the underworld.

The gouging out of the owl's eyes during the falconry episode can therefore be interpreted as a symbolic act of vengeance wrecked against envious critics, or as the symbolic blinding of a storyteller. In the falconry episode, it is difficult to distinguish clearly between allusions to the poem itself, the poet, his envious critics, and other poets whose works are symbolically attacked.

It appears that all these facets of creative writing are ambiguously interrelated in Soledades' final episode. Here, the sudden transformation of the peaceful pastoral into a scene full of blood and violence, shows the fall and fallen at a greater advantage, once more highlighting pattern of rise and fall. The self-defeatist impulse that can be observed in the representation of writing as an intangible and ethereal enterprise, is taken to an extreme in the final lines of the poem, where the symbols of the product and producer of writing are butchered as mercilessly as its critics.

Just as both the representation of the first river and that of the marriage already contained the seeds of their potential fall, the falconry episode represents the danger built into the poetic endeavor. Moreover, the struggle of the birds, like that of poetic ambition, is only partially natural, for in order to serve as entertainment it must be artificially framed into an organized display in which the greed of the masters is played out by the birds or words that they wield. The display, however, is likely to bring disastrous consequences. Estudios y ensayos gongorinos.

Madrid: Gredos, Beverley, John R. Purdue University Monographs in Romance Languages 1. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, Introduction and notes. Gates, Eunice Joiner. Documentos gongorinos. John Beverley. Molho, Mauricio. MLN Ovidius Naso, Paolius. Translator: George Sandys.

Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, Spitzer, Leo. Leo Spitzer: Representative Essays. Alban Forcione et al. Stanford: Stanford UP, Abstract: A reading that foregrounds the Renaissance Neoplatonism of Garcilaso's eclogues rather than the autobiographical elements views the eclogues as a single macrotext that recasts in poetic form ideas discussed in such Neoplatonic dialogues as Bembo's Gli Asolani.

This ideological agenda can be seen through the development of Nemoroso, when contrasted with the other three lovers. The four principal male characters appear as four points on a hypothetical scale of Neoplatonic love. Albanio and Salicio are doomed to fail because they are governed by appetite. Garcilaso's development of Fernando, the only male lover who is not a shepherd, indicates a belief that Christian marriage may represent the way to both spiritual and sensual fulfillment. Of the many critical approaches addressing the vexing problem of how to read Garcilaso's eclogues , few mention possible Christian sources or the context of Renaissance Neoplatonism essential to understanding them.

To gain a coherent and satisfactory interpretation of the eclogues, it is necessary to read them as Garcilaso's contemporaries could have done, as a sustained poetic endeavor drawing on a variety of sources, but whose full meaning is generated only by reading the poems in relation to one another. Garcilaso changed the order of the eclogues prior to their publication, which indicates that he encoded an ideological agenda into the poems.

This agenda unfolds most noticeably in the development of Nemoroso, especially when contrasted with that of the other shepherds. In fact, when read together in the order of their publication, the eclogues constitute a macrotext that recasts in poetic form many of the ideas that are discussed in such Neoplatonic dialogues as Ficino's In Convivium Platonis, sive de amore, Bembo's Gli Asolani, and Castiglione's Il cortegiano. They create through dramatic personification a Christianized version of Neoplatonic ideas on love and passion as these were developed in Italy throughout the fifteenth century.

While we can only guess the extent to which Garcilaso's audience might have known any single Neoplatonic text, it is clear that he was intimately familiar with Castiglione's work and that he corresponded with Bembo Keniston ; Gallego Morell, Documentos ; Mele , Although we may never know exactly what Garcilaso read or did not read, while he was in Naples he was in a position to converse and correspond with many humanists, and so could have acquired considerable knowledge of Neoplatonic ideas without specific reference to particular works. Castiglione's Bembo says: []. Fernando de Herrera, an early annotator who prepared the edition of Garcilaso's works, understands the soul in much the same way:.

Within the eclogues Albanio and Salicio are guided by their senses and live in a world of appetite and frustration. Fernando, in contrast, leads a life of rational choice, controlling his appetite when called to higher service and thus attaining the happiness of connubial bliss as a reward. Nemoroso acquires from Severo in Eclogue II an understanding of the need for maintaining an innocent relationship, and so is prepared to transcend the grief he feels in Eclogue I and achieve the celestial, and therefore eternal union with his beloved presented in the Eclogue III.

Garcilaso's eclogues are constructed on the basis of polar oppositions. The first of these is the contrast between the locus amoenus, an edenic setting of harmonious nature that makes up the background, and the unhappy emotional state of the shepherds who inhabit that world. To use Riffaterre's terms, the matrix of universal harmony is realized in a model, the locus amoenus, which provides an ideal, a backdrop, and a language for the shepherd; but the text is generated, and its poetic nature determined, by the polar opposition of this locus amoenus and the unfortunate shepherd 20, Measured against the extremes of requited love in the real world of quotidian affairs on the one hand, and a celestial version of the locus amoenus on the other, the principal male characters, Fernando, Albanio, Salicio, and Nemoroso, represent four notes on a hypothetical Neoplatonic scale of love.

Within this general scheme of oppositions Eclogue I contrasts Salicio's anger at his betrayal by Galatea with Nemoroso's bereavement at Elissa's death; Eclogue II contrasts Albanio's madness with Nemoroso's serenity and Fernando's happiness, both acquired through the use of reason. Eclogue III places Nemoroso's story on a mythological, and therefore universal, plane, in contrast to the shepherds Thyrreno and Alzino, who exist in a standard sublunar -as opposed to celestial- pastoral context, thereby contrasting the visual imagery of the tapestries with the verbal wittiness of courtly poetry.

It is generally believed that Eclogue II may have been composed first, possibly in parts over a period of time, but Garcilaso's reordering of them for the first edition fits the scheme suggested above, and would confirm the ascendancy of an ideological agenda over an autobiographical one. Thus the anecdotal dimension, while the most popular of critical approaches, does not provide a satisfactory basis for a coherent interpretation of the poems.

Garcilaso probably uses material drawn from his personal experience, but the rhetorical presentation of that material, in chronological order or otherwise, was not his fundamental aim, nor is such material central to an understanding of what takes place in the eclogues. Garcilaso's Eclogue II combines a pastoral interlude with an epic narrative that details a history of the House of Alba and in particular the life of his close friend, don [] Fernando de Toledo, Gran Duque de Alba. Don Fernando's story is, strangely, a tale of heroism, requited love and successful matrimony.

Its presence in Eclogue II provides the key to the attitudes on love expressed in all three poems; neither Eclogue I nor Eclogue III is entirely comprehensible without it. While a number of critics have sought unity for this work through the biographical approach, the genuine critical problem does not lie in the difficulty of identifying who the people are outside the world of Eclogue II.

The real task is rather to explain the combination of pastoral and epic genres and to decipher what, if anything, this might have meant to Garcilaso's public. But this seemingly odd combination is in fact only a problem for the modern reader of Eclogue II. By reserving the privileged genre as the narrative model for Fernando's story, Garcilaso holds up his conduct as the ideal of human love, and so continues a classical tradition of combining art and didacticism.

The first part of Eclogue II is dedicated to the tale of Albanio and Camila, which appears to be a conventional pastoral story of unrequited love in the courtly tradition. Albanio, an assiduous hunter, becomes closely attached to Camila, a virgin dedicated to Diana, goddess of chastity and the hunt. When he tells Camila that she can see his beloved's face by looking into the pool, Albanio is disdainfully rejected and the force of unsatisfied desire turns his love to despair.

He loses his reason completely, contemplates suicide, and finally goes mad, entering into a dialogue with his own reflection. His friends, Salicio and Nemoroso, decide to take him to the wise Severo, whose Orphic powers once enabled Nemoroso to achieve self-mastery through the use of reason, thus curing him of a similar passion 11, Albanio is, in fact, in the worst of all possible positions in the Neoplatonic scale of lovers, since he began from the most desirable position of an intellectual contemplation of beauty and descended to a bestial level of sensual desire.

In the Neoplatonic scale of values Albanio's madness not only makes sense, it is deserved In this Neoplatonic hierarchy of lovers the next step in an ascent toward a desirable position is that of Salicio in Eclogue I. Salicio manages to transmute his rage into a form of self-control by singing his way into a state of resignation. He is not cured of his misery at the end of his song, but he is calmer than he was in the middle of it the stages of the song being disbelief, rage, resignation.

Salicio, because Galatea has left him for another man, is able to stop short of Albanio's madness, achieving a more dignified [] end. He has been brought low by a woman's inconstancy whereas Albanio destroyed what was a purely Neoplatonic relationship and so destroyed himself. Nemoroso, on the other hand, had a relationship that was successful precisely because it appears to have remained innocent in thought as well as deed Roig Unlike Albanio and Salicio, Nemoroso never expresses a sexual interest in Elissa. Since his love for Elissa never went beyond the contemplation of her beauty while they engaged in such pastimes as picking flowers, his hopes for a future -i.

The spirituality of their relationship is emphasized by Nemoroso's physical absence from Eclogue III. He exists only through the voice of Elissa, herself dead and speaking through an epitaph carved on a poplar by the nymph Nise. Elissa and Nemoroso are, then, only disembodied voices in Eclogue III, yet they continue to exist on this spiritual plane of Orphic power, for when he speaks through her the Tagus responds.

Although the poem takes place in the sublunar locus amoenus of the glade, all is linked to a vision of emotional stasis. Through Elissa, Nemoroso speaks to us of a Neoplatonic plane of enduring spirituality, with Christian overtones of life after death. This celestial locus amoenus is the third sphere of Venus, the last sphere in which lovers retain some vestige of their bodies Wardropper , n. Through Nemoroso then, Garcilaso suggests that innocent love is eternal, and hence a pathway to eternity itself. Salicio and Albanio are rejected because they allow the faculty of reason to be overcome by sensual desire, and do not choose to follow the spiritual path to a moral and intellectual relationship in quest of beauty.

That quest is Nemoroso's odyssey of purification, and only his voice is heard in all three poems.


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  • In Eclogue I he is overcome by grief; in Eclogue II he is the tempered voice of survival and help for the afflicted; in Eclogue III he is completely disembodied, strongly identified with the Orphic powers of poetry. Nemoroso's decreasing physical presence is balanced by his increasing spiritual serenity, and he consistently exemplifies the most admirable position in the Neoplatonic vision of love. Garcilaso balances the love stories of the different shepherds in the eclogues against each other to illustrate the true nature of love as a spiritual collaboration of moral and intellectual intent.

    The progressive development of Nemoroso represents a Neoplatonic progression rather than autobiographical reflections of Garcilaso's life. Fernando's story presents a picture of rational control that supports Castiglione's defense in Book III of conjugal relations for purposes of procreation, and forms the other half of the polar opposition that creates the poetic tension of the eclogues.

    Educated by the magician Severo, Fernando proves himself in arms and is then married. He demonstrates his strength of character and self-discipline by leaving his new wife to serve in the defense of Vienna in against Suleiman the Magnificent II, The only lover who is not a shepherd, Fernando stands midway between intellectual contemplation of spiritual and divine beauty, and voluptuous enjoyment of touch, yet he is also the antithesis of both. He is one antipode of the courtly ethos as well: married but not possessed by an adulterous passion; an ideal Christian knight, faithful to his wife and the sacrament yet rationally in control of that love.

    Garcilaso's work thus illustrates a cultural evolution from one mode of love to another. In the eclogues, he shows Christianized Neoplatonism opening up the world of marriage as a fulfilling, mutually satisfying relationship which courtly love, with its characteristic emphasis on adultery, absence, or denial, had closed off.

    Garcilaso's engagement with Neoplatonism helps to resolve the structural problems inherent in the eclogues. Jones notices the structural difficulty posed by Eclogue I, namely that it seems to bring together two sentimental moments which, even if related in the biography of the poet, do not seem to combine gracefully in the text of the poem Golden Age Prose and Poetry Roig, however, continues to read the text as a restatement of two personal experiences couched in terms of courtly love.

    Lipmann addresses the problem by concluding that Nemoroso and Elissa had been apart for some time before she died bearing the child of another man, yet this reading also relies on assumed biographical facts. This supposed structural problem disappears, however, when one bypasses an autobiographical, anecdotal reading in favor of an ideological and didactic one. Eclogue I presents both extremes of the Neoplatonic spectrum, base desire and innocent spirituality. From the midpoint of the terrestrial locus amoenus Salicio looks back toward an event that has already happened and describes it in the hellish terms of a world turned upside down.

    Nemoroso's song, in contrast, expresses his hope of transcending the boundaries of dawn and dusk in a future spiritual reunion in the sphere of Venus, the celestial locus amoenus that can provide an eternal relationship free from the inconstancy that characterizes the sublunar pastoral world. Eclogue II, key to the ideological agenda of the macrotext, presents the ideological extremes of reason, as we have seen: Albanio's unrequited, and unrepentant, sensual desire outside of wedlock causes his madness, while Fernando's use of reason within traditional matrimony leads to happiness.

    In Eclogue III, in which four nymphs weave tapestries, Garcilaso places the story of Nemoroso and Elissa on a plane with three great love stories from antiquity, all of which, at least in Garcilaso's presentation, treat of loss, transfiguration, grief and death. Paterson describes the manner in which Nise's tapestry is an epitome of the other three. It must also be observed that Nise's tapestry comes at the end of three tales of desire that reflect the major aspects of love presented in the eclogues: the tale of Apollo's unrequited love for the chaste Daphne parallels those of Albanio and Camila, Salicio and Galatea; the myth of Venus and Adonis, a story of requited love with natural dimensions of passion, fidelity, and death, compares favorably with the story of Fernando, Ficino's active and moral man; and the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, with its dimension beyond death and its promise of ultimate reunion aligns the classical tales with Nemoroso's Neo-platonic attempt to go beyond the mutable world of earthly passion to the immutability of a celestial locus amoevns In this way, Garcilaso uses the eclogues to approach a problem that is actively addressed in Neoplatonism yet central to the courtly and Christian traditions as well.