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92 Reviews D D D D D en una dirección productiva sin atendar a las aportaciones de estos dos volúmenes. Pedro Ruiz Pérez Universidad de Córdoba Helgerson, Richard. A Sonnet from Carthage: Garcilaso de la Vega and the New Poetry of Sixteenth-Century Europe. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2007. HB. xviii + 120 pp. ISBN 10: 0812240049. This small volume is a highly original and brilliantly developed essay in literary history. Its ideas are organized around a single poem, Garcilaso´s Sonnet 33 (“Boscán, las armas y el furor de Marte”); each quatrain and tercet of this sonnet provides a chapter with 3 or 4 lines of poetry to be analyzed in combination with other passages by Garcilaso and by writers both ancient and modern. These four central chapters are preceded by a preface and by an introductory chapter giving us the European literary context; they are followed by a chapter devoted to the partnership of Boscán and Garcilaso and by an epilogue. Part II of the volume is an appendix entitled “Garcilaso´s Tunisian Poems: a Bilingual Anthology.” It contains six poems arranged in chronological order of composition: the “Epístola a Boscán”; Sonnet 35, beginning “Mario, el ingrato amor, como testigo” (which chronologically precedes Sonnet 33); the “Elegía a Boscán”; the “Elegía al duque de Alba”; and the Latin “Ode ad Genesium Sepulvedam.” Richard Helgerson (RH), who has published major books on Elizabethan poets as well as a bilingual edition of Du Bellay, is uniquely qualified to write the introductory chapter, entitled “What They Expected (. . . and What They Got).” In this chapter he begins with the phrase “siempre la lengua fue compañera del imperio,” taken from Nebrija´s Gramática de la lengua castellana of 1492. Spain´s nascent world empire and its awareness of the need for an imperial language anticipated the similar needs of France and of England; literary Spaniards in Sicily and Naples had come into early contact with the Italian Renaissance. Garcilaso´s lyric poetry may not seem to provide an imperial language, but as a military man he was closely associated with Charles V´s invasion of North Africa and the Spanish war against the French in Italy; his youthful death in southern France, along with what RH calls his “Tunisian poems,” was enough to convert his new poetry into a powerful cultural symbol, acclaimed by Herrera, of Spain´s Renaissance dreams of becoming a new Rome, both literarily and militarily. Garcilaso´s Latinization of the Spanish vernacular, following the models of Cicero´s and Horacés Hellenization of Latin Reseñas 93 D D D D D and of Petrarch´s Latinization of Tuscan, made Spain´s Castilian poetry cosmopolitan; as RH puts it “the new poetry was always a deliberate and radical self-estrangement, a poetry that abandoned itself to become another” (9). But there was at the same time a radical split between heroic and erotic poetry. Homer´s Circe lured Ulysses´s crew away from their destined voyage; Virgil´s Aeneas had to abandon his love affair with Dido in order to go on and found Rome. And yet Dido´s desperate story was “irresistibly attractive” (14) to the poets of the European Renaissance, from Du Bellay to Spenser and beyond. RH concludes his introductory chapter by saying that Garcilaso´s sonnet from Carthage is “ a poem that marvelously combines in its brief length imperial ambition, self-conscious poetic aspiration, and Dido-like selfimmolation ” (21). Garcilaso begins his sonnet celebrating Charles V´s invasion of Tunis in 1535 with this variation on Virgil´s “Arma virumque cano”: “las armas y el furor de Marte” (probably recalling Virgil´s discarded words “horrentia Martis,” as Alcina points out in his edition). RH lists the impressive worldwide triumphs of Spain´s new Hapsburg monarch, ranging from his defeat of Toledo´s comuneros, led by Garcilaso´s older brother Pedro, to the conquests of Mexico and Peru, the capture of Francis I of France, the sack of Rome, and the defense of Vienna against the Turks. But the taking of Barbarossa´s Tunis and its Goleta fortress reminds Garcilaso in his sonnet...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2377-9551
Print ISSN
1084-1490
Pages
pp. 92-96
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-06
Open Access
No
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