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Gothic Romance

Aspects of Gongora's 'Soledades' by John R. Beverley

By John R. Beverley

This examine of Góngora’s Soledades is meant to summarize and speak about a number of the difficulties which appeared vital for a greater realizing of those poems. designated recognition is paid to the 2 opposing ‘camps’ that constructed over the years; one in most cases focussing at the shape and the opposite at the content material of Soledades. during this quantity the authors attempts to combine the equipment and result of either one of the ‘camps’.

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If the first part of the period concerned the element of fire in the image of Jupiter, the second implicitly contains Venus, the spirit of water. Taken together, the two periods that follow, 15-21 and 22-28, are syntacti­ cally isomorphic with the first. But where 1-14 needs the semicolon to contain and carry over the tissue of allusion which composes the storm and shipwreck, the latter form two independent sentences and narrative moments of six and seven lines respectively. The first represents the effects of the pilgrim's "querellas" which have moved Venus to mediate the violence of the storm and provide an instrument of rescue: Del siempre en la montaña opuesto pino al enemigo Noto, piadoso miembro roto -breve tabla-delfín no fué pequeño al inconsiderado peregrino que a una Libia de ondas su camino fió, y su vida a un leño.

And it appears in variant forms at times in the Soledades. For example, the terminal strophe of the Soledad primera is an octava in hendeca­ syllables but rhymed as four couplets AABBCCDD. But what Molho means to suggest in saying the poem is astrophic is that its combination of free alter­ nation in the double meter and varied rhyme pattern does not define any "regular" pattern of repetition like the octava or the earlier silva strophes of, say, Herrera's canciones heroicas. The "Carta de un amigo" spoke of "un cuaderno de versos desiguales y consonancias erráticas" (Millé, Epistolario 127).

In the first three strophes Góngora presents the pilgrim principally as a predicate, a passive object of the elementary chaos which overwhelms him. With the "besa la arena" of the fourth strophe, the predication begins to trans­ pose itself; the landscape becomes the object of the active verbs, the pilgrim the subject. The place of these two "intermediate" strophes (since they take place on the beach, the boundary between sea and land) are to compose the landscape shattered by the storm. Part of this composition depends on the sequence of purposive, ritualistic gestures the pilgrim begins to undertake.

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