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Floridas señas: Góngora and the Petrarchan Tradition

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This essay examines the use of the Petrarchan motif of the ‘generative footsteps’—the magical ability of the beloved to make flowers bloom wherever she steps—in three sonnets by the Golden-Age Spanish poet Luis de Góngora: ‘Al tramontar del sol, la ninfa mía’ (1582), ‘Tres veces de Aquilón el soplo airado’ (1582) and ‘Los blancos lilios que de ciento en ciento’ (1609). Through close readings, it examines how the image serves as a metatextual symbol in the three poems. Where the motif often functions in Petrarch to evoke an ideal of spontaneous and unmediated creation, Góngora's sonnets reflect upon imitation and influence, drawing attention to the insuperable gap between a poem and its source, arguing for the superiority of imitation over mimesis and representing literature as an endless accumulation of glosses.
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Keywords: Golden-Age poetry; Luis de Góngora; Petrachan tradition; metatextual; sonnets

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universiteit Gent,

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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