Ekphrasis in the Age of Cervantes ed. by Frederick de Armas (review)
- Calíope: Journal of the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 13, Number 2, 2007
- pp. 96-100
- View Citation
- Additional Information
96 Reviews D D D D D fears are, quite simply, those of Boscán” (59). He supports this statement by citing Garcilaso´s “Epistle to Boscán” with its mention of “el vínculo d´amor, que nuestro genio / enredó sobre nuestros corazones” (ll. 53-54). He finds similar feelings expressed in Garcilaso´s elegy addressed to Boscán. In the rest of this chapter he makes a strong case for the special relationship between the two innovative poets. In his brief epilogue, “Poetry of the New” (66-70), RH shows how Garcilaso´s single poem from Carthage is “the unique epitome” of “a program of literary renewal” in the vernacular poetries of Spain, France, and England, with the Italian sonnet at its center. For all of these not unfamiliar ideas Garcilaso´s sonnet from Carthage has provided a sort of aleph through which the writer shows us that whole world with a new freshness and clarity of vision. To conclude this review I return to the preface, which provides the reader with the book´s genesis and rationale. As planned in July of 2005, this essay, says RH ( ix-xvii), was to have been part of a large, comparative study on the self-consciously ´new poetry´ of sixteenthcentury Europe. But with a radical change in his available time, our author decided to limit himself to Garcilaso´s sonnet, which he had first read only three years before. (Prior to his 1970 Ph.D. in English at Johns Hopkins, he had studied in France and in Italy, but for Spanish he needed the help of a native reader of that language.) We professional Hispanists owe him a new and wider perspective on our field. He could have profited somewhat from more recent improved editions of Garcilaso such as Alcina´s (Madrid: Espasa, 1989) and Morros´s (Barcelona: Crítica, 1995), but their notes would not have changed this book in any substantial way. I have read it with pleasure, profit, and admiration. Elias L. Rivers SUNY at Stony Brook De Armas, Frederick, ed., Ekphrasis in the Age of Cervantes. Lewisberg: Bucknell UP, 2005. HB. 240 pp. ISBN 0838756247. Ekphrasis in the Age of Cervantes is a collection of essays that grew out of a 2003 NEH seminar entitled “Recapturing the Renaissance: Cervantes and Italian Art.” The volume will appeal to a variety of scholars working in both literature and the visual arts, as it provides a useful overview of different theories of and approaches to the idea of ekphrasis. In the preface to the collection, editor Frederick de Armas begins by reviewing some of the characteristics of Cervantes’s Don Quixote that make it particularly apt as the centerpiece for a discussion Reseñas 97 D D D D D of ekphrasis in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. De Armas then reviews the debate that has emerged in recent years over how properly to refer to the period of time at issue in the volume: the two most common terms being Spain’s “GoldenAge” or the “Early Modern Period.” De Armas proposes that neither term is entirely satisfactory for a variety of reasons, and as a result declares “The Age of Cervantes” as a preferable alternative. Before giving an overview of the content of the volume as a whole, De Armas also reviews the major types of ekphrasis, which lays the groundwork for many of the analyses that ensue. Part one of the volume concludes with Deborah Cibelli’s study, “Ekphrastic Treatments of Salviati’s Paintings and Imprese,” which explores the representation of works by the Florentine artist Francesco Salviati in the writings of three authors: Giorgio Vasari, Paolo Giovio, and Torquato Tasso. Cibelli’s essay provides a useful bridge to the rest of the collection, as it analyzes several of the variations of ekphrasis outlined by DeArmas in his prefatory essay. Through careful and intelligent analyses of the three authors’ ekphrases of Salviati’s art, Cibelli demonstrates the artist’s importance for writers of the era. Part 2 of the volume, “The Painted Text in the Age of Cervantes,” contains essays that explore ekphrastic elements in the writings of Renaissance and baroque Spanish authors other than Cervantes. Kathleen...