Sunday, October 23, 2011

D. Alonso on Flowers in Spanish Poetry

In his essay "Flores en la poesía de España" Dámaso Alonso speculates on the nonexistence of a Spanish Generation of the flowers.  For Alsono, this is a symptom of Spanish Romanticism's deficiency.  Its height never reached the legacy of Wordsworth, for instance.

The Generation of 98 was the Generation of landscape but failed to focus on the flora inhabiting (or not) those endless terrains.  It is only with Juan Ramón Jiménez that the reader again encounters a focus on flower tone poems.

Alonso then returns to a brief reflection on the Baroque and barroquismo (the recycling of baroque style) and gives a rather interesting definition of the baroque relationship to nonhumans.

Nóstese, porque es importante, que el procedimiento de muchos de estos retratos hay humor, es decir, que son un tipo de «caricatura».  Así, el barroquismo llega a la realidad, por la elusión de la realidad, por la hiberbólica imagen.  En arte lo real tiene siempre su venganza. (284)

What I like about this description is its avoidance of stronger claims made about baroque esthetics concerning the distance  between things and language (Foucault).  Instead, a similar argument is released: language approaches reality through "elusión" and the hyperbolic image but "lo real" is not simply a phantom, but rather an etched out shadow image, lying in wait with vengeance.  So much for the simple loveliness of flowers...

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