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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2014

Isabel Torres
Affiliation:
School of Modern Languages
Jean Andrews
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Jean Andrews
Affiliation:
Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham
Isabel Torres
Affiliation:
Professor of Spanish Golden Age Literature at Queen's University, Belfast
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Summary

Homer knew that poetry is a matter of motion. Once upon a pre-‘theoretical’ time, criticism of poetry inhabited poetry itself. It was inscribed in the self-conscious reflections of the early poets on the nature of their art, and in the narratological and metaphorical manoeuvres of their writing. The opening line of the Iliad compresses into a brief invocation to the Muse the essence of poetry as a specialised form of discourse that travels over time and space, while it also points to the authority and accountability that is enshrined in poetic utterance. The narrator invokes the Muse: ‘Sing, goddess, the wrath of Peleus’ son, Achilles’. In this appeal to the daughter of Memory, there is more than a glimpse of poetry as the repository, mediator and voice of privileged knowledge, and a sense of its role as a dynamic locus of ideological value transfer and its claims to both temporal possession and timeless permanence. For in poetry's access to the past, its re-articulations in present upon present, it pretends to be owned by and to ‘own’ time. There are tensions in the Homeric figuring of poetry, and the poet's role, that would move theoretical debate for centuries: the compatibility of divine inspiration and artistic craftsmanship, the truth value of constructed poetic illusion, the stability of poetry's claim to communicate ethical wisdom, the affective power of its eloquence and the risks both for the individual body and for the body politic that might follow from intense emotional response.

Type
Chapter
Information
Spanish Golden Age Poetry in Motion
The Dynamics of Creation and Conversation
, pp. 1 - 8
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2014

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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Jean Andrews, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham, Isabel Torres, Professor of Spanish Golden Age Literature at Queen's University, Belfast
  • Book: Spanish Golden Age Poetry in Motion
  • Online publication: 05 November 2014
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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Jean Andrews, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham, Isabel Torres, Professor of Spanish Golden Age Literature at Queen's University, Belfast
  • Book: Spanish Golden Age Poetry in Motion
  • Online publication: 05 November 2014
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edited by Jean Andrews, Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham, Isabel Torres, Professor of Spanish Golden Age Literature at Queen's University, Belfast
  • Book: Spanish Golden Age Poetry in Motion
  • Online publication: 05 November 2014
Available formats
×