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Neophilologus

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 365–373 | Cite as

Quevedo's revisions of his sonnet to Daphne

  • Mary E. Barnard
Article

Keywords

Comparative Literature Historical Linguistic 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Blecua,Poesía original (Barcelona: Planeta, 1963), pp. lxi-lxxxiv andObra poética, I (Madrid: Castalia, 1969), xvii–xxx; Crosby,En torno a la poesía de Quevedo (Madrid: Castalia, 1967), pp. 17–42.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rabelais and His World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1968). I elaborate on Bakhtin's concept of “grotesque realism” and Quevedo later on in this study.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blecua describes the Evora manuscript inObra poética, I, 27–29. See also Eugenio Asensio,Itinerario del entremés (Madrid: Gredos, 1965), pp. 255–256. This version of the Daphne sonnet also appears in an eighteenth-century manuscript (ms. 12717; in Blecua, I, 16).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    In Blecua's editionObra poética, II, 19, the obscene version is labeledB and the revised versionA. For purposes of clarity in this essay, I have followed a chronological progression and called the early versionA and the revisionB.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Obra poética, II, 19. All references to Quevedo's poetry will be to this edition.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    In Golden Age burlesques of Daphne, one popular technique to ridicule her metamorphosis is to transform certain parts of her body in order to make the event hilariously malicious. Polo de Medina, for instance, chooses her eyes and teeth: “viéndola con los ojos laureados / y de laurel los dientes traspillados” (Obras completas de Salvador Jacinto Polo de Medina, Murcia, Tip. Sucesores de Nogués, 1948, p. 223).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    On Rabelais, see Mikhail Bakhtin,Rabelais and His World; on Swift, see Norman O. Brown,Life Against Death (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan Univ. Press, 1959), pp. 179ff.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    For a detailed analysis of this sonnet (as well as the Apollo sonnet mentioned later and quoted in note 19), see my article, “Myth in Quevedo: The Serious and the Burlesque in the Apollo and Daphne Poems,”HR, 52 (1984), 499–522.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See the note on the wordcruda in James O. Crosby'sPoesía varia (Madrid: Cátedra, 1981), p. 365.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rabelais and His World, p. 21.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rabelais and His World, p. 11.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    In a stimulating essay, “Quevedo: la obsesión excremental,” inDisidencias (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1977), pp. 130–31, Juan Goytisolo regards Quevedo's use of scatology as liberating, even though liberating in a different sense from the one in my discussion. For Goytisolo, Quevedo's obscenities are a confirmation of man's humanity against the sublimation imposed on the body by Catholicism.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Totem and Tabu (New York: Norton, 1952), p. 140.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    The prologue reads in part: “Yo escribí con ingenio facinoroso, en los hervores de la niñez, más ha de veinte y cuatro años, los que llamaronSueños míos, y, precipitado, les puse nombres más escandalosos que propios . . . mas no me faltó cordura para conocer que en la forma que estaban no eran sufribles a la imprenta; y así, los dejé con desprecio . . . Algunos mercaderes extranjeros . . . publicaron aquellos escritos sin lima ni censura, de que necesitaban . . .; yo, que me vi padecer no sólo mis descuidos, sino las malicias ajenas, dotrinado del escándalo que se recibía de ver mezcladas veras y burlas, he desagraviado mi opinión, y sacado estas manchas a mis escritos, para darlos bien corregidos, no con menos gracia, sino con gracia más decente, pues quitar lo que ofende no es disminuir, sino desembarazar lo que agrada” (Obras en prosa, ed. Luis Astrana Marín, Madrid, Aguilar, 1945, p. 185). As we know, the corrections for the text of theSueños were done in such haste and with such lack of care that certain passages were mutilated to the point of incoherence. TheBuscón also had to undergo revisions for its first edition (Zaragoza, 1626), when irreverent material had to be eliminated or toned down. Even though the revisions of theBuscón — in some cases as careless and as infelicitous as those of theSueños — do not seem to have been made by Quevedo himself (see Fernando Lázaro Carreter's edition, Salamanca, C.S.I.C., 1965, pp. lxii–lxvii), there is no doubt that those of the Daphne sonnet are Quevedo's own. For these corrections show such impeccable poetic sense that they could have come only from someone as exceptionally gifted as our poet, and his editor González de Salas was no Quevedo.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Quevedo speaks of preparing his poetry for publication in his letters to Francisco de Oviedo in January and February, 1945 (Blecua,Obra poética, I, xii). For the texts of these letters, seeEpistolario completo, ed. Luis Astrana Marín (Madrid: Instituto Editorial Reus, 1946), pp. 482, 486. Quevedo dies in September, 1945, and the task of publishing his poems goes to González de Salas.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Alexander A. Parker correctly points to these attacks as a possible explanation for Quevedo's alleged repudiation of hisBuscón. SeeLiterature and the Delinquent. The Picaresque Novel in Spain and Europe, 1599–1753 (Edinburgh: University Press, 1967), p. 161, note 5. See also Lázaro Carreter's edition of theBuscón, p. lxvii.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Of his corrections of theromance “Roma, hablando con perdón” (III, 209), González de Salas says the following: “estos [versos], que se escribieron entonces más rigurosos, aparecen con semblante más mesurado y decente.” And the reasons for his revisions of “¿Por qué mi musa, descompuesta y bronca . . .” (II, 112) read in part: “La imitación de Juvenal en ella estaba precisa; de donde procedía que se representase también la Venus muy desnuda, y ansí horrible a nuestros oídos, que no permiten la significación de su lasciva incontinencia, sino vestida más disimulada . . . Corrigiose, pues, aquella malicia . . .” (Both references come from Blecua,Obra poé tica, I, xiv–xv, note 16). González de Salas was not the only one to take out from Quevedo's poems material which was not considered fit for print. For instance, theromance “Ya sueltan, Juanilla, presos” — which seems to have been enormously popular, for it circulated in numerous manuscripts andimpresos — appears in printed texts (e.g.,Romances varios, 1640, 1643, 1655) without its most obviously obscene images and words, such as the stanza which starts “Las putas y los caballos . . .” For texts and variants, see Blecua,Obra poética, III, 112–118.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Here I have in mind well known sonnets such as “La voz del ojo, que llamamos pedo” (in ms. 108 of the Menéndez Pelayo Library in Santander and in other mss.; see Blecua, II, 63), “Que tiene ojo de culo es evidente” (MP 108; Blecua, II, 62) and “Puto es el hombre que de putas fía” (MP, 108; Blecua, II, 58).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bermejazo platero de las cumbres, a cuya luz se espulga la canalla, la ninfa Dafne, que se afufa y calla, si la quieres gozar, paga y no alumbres. Si quieres ahorrar de pesadumbres, ojo del cielo, trata de compralla: en confites gastó Marte la malla, y la espada en pasteles y en azumbres. Volvióse en bolsa Júpiter severo; levantóse las faldas la doncella por recogerle en lluvia de dinero. Astucia fue de alguna dueña estrella, que de estrella sin dueña no lo infiero: Febo, pues eres sol, sírvete de ella (II, 18).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Wolters-Noordhoff, Groningen 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Barnard
    • 1
  1. 1.LincolnUSA

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