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La Galatea (1585) by Miguel de Cervantes, as a libro de pastores that alternates the tale of fictional shepherds with the lyric verse they sincerely utter, is a book about lyric. As such, it explores a problem in lyric theory that is also touched upon in the novella "El curioso impertinente": the tension between lyric as fiction, or the mimesis of affect, and lyric as sincere outpouring, or the earnest communication of affect. In a subplot of La Galatea, the courtier Silerio disguises himself as a truhán or poet-for-hire as an allegory of an emerging kind of poet in the late sixteenth century, and in that capacity ends up praising the woman he secretly loves. This article reads La Galatea in light of key texts in lyric theory from Minturno and Torelli in the sixteenth century, to Hamburger and Smith in the twentieth, to Luján Atienza and Culler in the twenty-first.