Indeed, looking at his self portraits, we discover the handsome man he was, with his face reflecting the purity of his soul and his intelligence. Self-Portrait, - Detail Museo del Prado, Madrid His contemporaries were impressed by his physical appearance, and his mental and moral qualities, which were no less remarkable. He studied the art principles, made rigorous theoretical observations, meticulously recorded the results of his investigations, and then he gave the resulting written instructions to his contemporaries.
Medieval period The origins of vernacular writing Bywhen the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula began, Latin spoken there had begun its transformation into Romance. These jarchas provide evidence of a popular poetry begun perhaps as early as the 10th century, and they are related to traditional Spanish lyric types e.
Vernacular chroniclers mention many other heroic minstrel narratives, now lost, but, as a result of the incorporation of these narratives into chronicles, themes and textual passages can be reconstructed.
The beginnings of prose A major influence on prose was exercised by Arabic. Oriental learning entered Christian Spain with the capture of Toledo from the Muslims, and the city became a centre of translation from Oriental languages. A romance of the Seven Sages, the Sendebar, was translated likewise through Arabic, with other collections of Eastern stories.
A propitious intellectual atmosphere fomented the founding of universities, and under Alfonso X of Castile and Leon reigned —84 vernacular literature achieved prestige. Alfonso, in whose chancery Castilian replaced Latin, mandated translations and compilations aimed at fusing all knowledge—Classical, Oriental, Hebrew, and Christian—in the vernacular.
Alfonso X, 13th-century manuscript illumination. The Book of Count Lucanor and Patronio —which consists of 51 moral tales variously didactic, amusing, and practical—drew partly on Arabic, Oriental, and popular Spanish sources. Eustace, the Roman general miraculously converted to Christianity.
It enthralled the popular imagination through the 16th century with its sentimental idealism, lyrical atmosphere, and supernatural adventure. The result mingled eroticism with devotion and invited readers to interpret often-equivocal teachings.
Ruiz handled alexandrine metre with new vigour and plasticity, interspersing religious, pastoral-farcical, amorous, and satirical lyrics of great metrical variety.
More-exotic elements appeared in the Proverbios morales c. Numerous examples from medieval Spanish literature and folklore echoed the same themes e. The 15th century The early 15th century witnessed a renewal of poetry under Italian influence.
The collection showed not merely the decadence of Galician-Portuguese troubadours but also the stirrings of more-intellectual poetry incorporating symbol, allegoryand Classical allusions in the treatment of moral, philosophical, and political themes. Francisco Imperial, a Genoese who settled in Sevilla and a leader among new poets, drew on Danteattempting to transplant the Italian hendecasyllable syllable line to Spanish poetry.
He is still acknowledged as a precursor of the Renaissance, though his sonnets and long poems, which reflect his Italian-influenced training, are often neglected in favour of his charming rustic songs of native inspiration. Written with greater satiric force than other works that treated the dance of death theme, it introduced characters e.
Although not intended for dramatic presentation, it formed the basis for later dramas. The early Spanish humanists included the first grammarians and lexicographers of any Romance tongue.
The dominant character, the procuress Celestina, is depicted with unsurpassed realism and gives the work the title by which it is commonly known, La Celestina. Poetry Surviving for centuries in the oral tradition, Spanish ballads romances link medieval heroic epic to modern poetry and drama.
The earliest datable romances—from the midth century, although the romance form itself has been traced to the 11th century—treated frontier incidents or lyrical themes.
The romance form octosyllabic, alternate lines having a single assonance throughout was quickly adopted by cultured poets and also became the medium of choice for popular narrative verse.
Garcilaso added intense personal notes and characteristic Renaissance themes to a masterful poetic technique derived from medieval and Classical poets.
The popularity of the short native metres was reinforced by traditional ballad collections romanceros and by the evolving drama. Models for epic poetry were the works of Italian poets Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tassobut the themes and heroes of Spanish epics celebrated overseas conquest or defense of the empire and the faith.
Early drama Spanish drama originated in the church. Juan del Encina helped emancipate the drama from ecclesiastical ties by giving performances for noble patrons.
His conception of drama evolved during his long stay in Italy, with native medievalism transforming into Renaissance experimentation. His four prose comedies have been called clumsy, but his 10 pasos showed his dramatic merits.
Major landmarks in historical writing emanated from the New World, transmuting vital experience into literature with unaccustomed vividness. These chivalric romances perpetuated certain medieval ideals, but they also represented pure escapism, eventually provoking such literary reactions as the pastoral novel and the picaresque novel.
The former, imported from Italy, oozed nostalgia for an Arcadian golden age; its shepherds were courtiers and poets who, like the knights-errant of chivalric romance, turned their backs on reality.
Another reaction appeared in the picaresque novela genre initiated with the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes Passing from master to master, he depicted life from underneath.
Miguel de Cervantesthe preeminent figure in Spanish literature, produced in Don Quixote part 1, ; part 2, the prototype of the modern novel. Where Don Quixote saw and attacked an advancing army, Sancho saw only a herd of sheep; what Sancho perceived as windmills were menacing giants to the questing knight-errant.
She too published Italian-inspired short stories, in the collections Novelas amorosas y ejemplares ; Eng. The Enchantments of Love:American Renaissance. The authors who began to come to prominence in the s and were active until about the end of the Civil War—the humorists, the classic New Englanders, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and others—did their work in a new spirit, and their achievements were of a new sort.
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Simon Leys ( - ) is the pen name of Pierre Ryckmans, who was born in Belgium and settled in Australia in He taught Chinese literature at the Australian National University and was Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney from to Spanish literature, the body of literary works produced in pfmlures.com works fall into three major language divisions: Castilian, Catalan, and Galician.
This article provides a brief historical account of each of these three literatures and examines the emergence of major genres..
Although literature in the vernacular was not written until the medieval period, Spain had previously made. Langston Hughes was first recognized as an important literary figure during the s, a period known as the "Harlem Renaissance" because of the number of emerging black writers.