The present study is an analysis of the ways in which Ovid’s account of the myth of Echo and Narcissus (Metamorphoses vv. 357–401) serves as a foundation for models of sonority and voice within Iberian Baroque aesthetics. In more specific terms, I argue that these models enabled seventeenth-century Iberian (and Ibero-American) poets—especially Luis de Góngora and those poets in dialogue with his work—to make strategic use of gendered discourse at both the semantico-referential and pragmatic levels of signification. Grounding my analysis in a close reading of selected works by Luis de Góngora, Sóror Violante do Céu, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, I point to the implementation of specific poetic elements (such as hyperbaton, enjambment, and rima abrazada) which constitute a mode of poetic composition that works in large measure to foreground prosody over semantic and syntactic order. The result is a “poetics of Echo” that draws from a specific conception of Echo’s linguistic presence in the Ovidian version of the myth. I argue that a particularly Ovidian intersection of body, textuality, and voice emerges during the early seventeenth-century Ibero-Baroque poetry that I consider.


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pp. 445-463
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