EL ARTE COMO ARTIFICIO; Autor. Shklovski. INTEGRANTES: Antonieta Ontiveros Ruiz; Adriana López Núñez; Gabriela G. Agis Mendoza. Dra. Flor de María. 16; Louis Vax, Arte y literatura fantásticas (Buenos Aires: Eudeba, ), p. 6. 2. Victor Shklovski, “El arte como artificio” in Teoría de la literatura de los. Shklovski, Viktor (). El arte como artificio (). In Todorov, Tzvetan (Ed.), Teoría de la literatura de los formalistas rusos. Argentina: Siglo XXI, pp.
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Poetry and Theory in the Spanish Renaissance. Harvard University Press, All other translations, unless otherwise indicated, are my own. I have tried to render them into modern colloquial English, guided more by the sense than by the style of the original, but occasionally I have been forced to follow the original more closely in order to capture an important detail.
I am deeply grateful to the many readers and commentators whose suggestions have done so much to improve this study. They made many valuable suggestions, but are not to blame when I failed to take their advice. The following people read some or all of the manuscript, at various stages of completion: The latter directed the dissertation on which this book is based; he has been for many years a mentor and friend. Clifford Flanigan and Frank Warnke taught me a good deal about scholarship and generosity.
Many other friends, teachers, and colleagues also provided guidance and advice. Many students, over the years, helped me develop ideas, particularly participants in my seminar on Spanish Petrarchism, and my research assistants: Financial support from Kansas State University, from the NEH Yale University Petrarch Institute, and from the University of California helped me to complete this study; I am especially grateful to the latter for a President’s Research Fellowship in the Humanities, which allowed me to spend a year on leave during which the bulk.
This book is dedicated to my wife, Hester, whose love, patience, and support cannot be measured. For more than a century, Petrarchism was the driving force in Spanish lyric poetry, as poets and theorists art Juan del Encina to Francisco de Quevedo pondered and exemplified the generic, thematic, stylistic, and even ethical ramifications of imitating an Italian poet shkklovsky had been dead for more than years.
Petrarch was the great model for Renaissance poets throughout Europe, thanks partly to his canonization in Italy aret the model poet for vernacular lyric poetry; in Spain, as elsewhere, the imitation of Petrarch was an aspect of the larger phenomenon of copying Italian styles in painting, architecture, education, and even courtiership. Petrarchism was a particularly vital force in Spain, however, for the combination adte Spanish political domination over Italy, and a continuing sense of cultural inferiority, led Spanish poets to respond to perceived crises in the national lyric tradition by continuously rereading, reinterpreting, and reappropriating Petrarch’s work.
For successive generations of Spanish poets Petrarch became an alternative model, and a defense against the overwhelming stature of national predecessors who were thus reduced to the status of siblings. As such, although there is continuity in his influence throughout this period, there occurred major changes in the nature of that influence.
He was consistently a source of poetic renewal, so it is those poets most concerned with transforming Spanish poetry who were the ones most self-conscious about the conflict between shklovwky role as imitators of Petrarch and their differences of age, nation, and temperament. Yet the importance of Spanish Renaissance lyric goes beyond literary history and aesthetic value.
Petrarch’s power to engender Spanish imitators was not due to the strength of his poetry alone, nor to Italianism as a literary fashion. Belatedness was inherent in Italian Petrarchism, its endowment as the vernacular heir to the humanist tradition, but it was compounded by uniquely Spanish concerns about national cultural backwardness and competition with.
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Italy; the determination to claim the European heritage for Spain resulted in a metonymic association between Petrarchist lyric and the Spanish empire.
Lyric poetry thus played a unique role in the Spanish struggle for cultural self-justification. Although Spain was the first powerful and unified nation-state in Europe and had the first self-conscious national literature, its poets spent more than a century trying to create a body of literature that befitted its imperial stature, and in particular that matched the cultural achievements already attained in Italy.
In classical theory the epic was more noble, but it was also contingent on military achievement. Lyric poetry, as the most nonmimetic genre, became the arena of the struggle for a modern cultural legitimacy independent of military conquest, which paradoxically gave the lyric a social dimension: The concern with national backwardness was a consequence of what Ernst Robert Curtius diagnosed as, but mislabeled, Spain’s “cultural belatedness”which more recently has been called the “Spanish difference” and which casts an important sideways light on literary developments throughout Europe.
The remainder of this introduction first examines the ideology of Petrarchism in Italy, particularly the consequences of Bembo’s appropriation of the historiographical models of the classical humanists and their application to the vernacular; when examined in the context of Petrarch’s theories of history and of imitation, we see how Bembo both crystallizes Petrarch as a unique model and provides a degree of freedom by subjecting him to what Thomas Greene 88—93 called the humanist hermeneutic.
There, we see the translatio studii as the key trope explicating the stillemergent state of Spanish literature, and the inexorable connection between imperial rule and cultural dominance. Finally, the introduction briefly addresses questions about methodology, particularly the ways in which I qualify and historicize Harold Bloom’s theory of poetic belatedness in order to make it useful for this study, and the.
In its strictest sense, Petrarchism is the result of the transfer to the vernacular of models of literary history originally elaborated within the context of an attempt to ameliorate composition in Latin through the imitation of Cicero.
The figure most associated with this transfer, both during the Renaissance and today, is Pietro Bembo, who in his landmark dialogue-treatise, the Prose della volgar linguaproposed the strict imitation of Petrarch and Boccaccio as a solution to the problem of creating a national literary language for Italy. Bembo in his youth developed a reputation as a strict Ciceronian in matters of Latin style, and his theory of imitation was first worked out in an exchange of letters with Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, in which he rejected the eclectic approach promoted by earlier generations of Renaissance writers, particularly those associated with the Florentine Neoplatonists.
To Bembo, imitation involves copying not only the style but “if you please, the same organizing principle which he has used whom you have set before you as an example” Scott, 11 ; hence copying stylistic details alone, an inevitable consequence of eclectic imitation, would only result in a travesty.
Imitation also gives a work a certain resonance; describing his own early attempts to avoid imitation, he concludes, “It pleased me and I experimented in it as far as I could, but all my thought, care, and study, all my labor was vexatious and void; for I invented nothing which could not easily have been drawn from the old writers; and when I tried to avoid that, it lacked the charm, the propriety, the majesty of those ages” Scott, Cicero and Virgil themselves attained this majesty by imitating their Creek predecessors, and they thus showed the way for Bembo and his contemporaries who, if they are diligent in their imitations, may someday hope to surpass their classical models.
But for now this is only an elusive hope, as “it is not so arduous to surpass the one whom you equal as to equal the one whom you imitate” Scott, As Ferruccio Ulivi pointed out, Bembo and the other humanist partisans of a strict Ciceronianism nourished a phenomenological. He thus identifies the dispute over Ciceronian imitation with perennial aesthetic issues in the history of literature, though at the cost of the historical specificity of the issues involved.
Although he correctly sees Pico, an advocate of the eclectic approach, as grounded in humanist historiography—that is, emphasizing the difference between antiquity and the sixteenth century and the freedom of the modern writer to pick and choose—he overlooks that it is Bembo who locates a writer in the historical process of reading and writing, and who has no illusions about the easy restoration of antiquity.
As Greene further notes, between Bembo’s letter to Pico and his discussion of poetry in the Prose”his theoretical outlook did not significantly change” Yet this consistency is in itself remarkable, for the Prose contains the first overt application of imitation theory, previously reserved for the more exalted area of Latin prose composition, to the vernacular. In order to transfer his ideas, Bembo had to preserve not only his phenomenological outlook but also the xhklovsky conception of history as divisible into a tripartite structure comprising classical achievements, medieval decline, and Renaissance renewal.
The process by which Bembo establishes Petrarch as a model therefore deserves closer scrutiny. To appropriate the humanist scheme of history, Bembo begins by justifying the use of Italian rather than Latin; the Romans, he ocmo, composed in their own language, even though they valued the literary accomplishments of the Greeks more highly than their own.
Had they ignored the rule of composing in the native language, they would have written in Creek, while the Greeks themselves would have written in Phoenician, and they in turn in Egyptian, and so on. In this way, Bembo describes each culture’s sense of inferiority to a preceding one, which is itself largely forgotten as the new cultures arise. Moreover, this cycle occurred not only in antiquity but in the recent past as well: Bembo thus implies that this fate may hang over Italian as well, and that the Prose represents an attempt to ward it off.
As alternative solutions to the language problem, Bembo entertains two possibilities. The first is the artifcio cortegianathe common language spoken by courtiers throughout the peninsula. This however is rejected as being too unstable and lacking in uniformity. Moreover, speakers alone cannot guarantee immortality to a language:. Not even Latin would we call a language, were it not for Plautus, for Terence, for Virgil, for Varro, for Cicero, and for the others who, by writing, made it into a language.
Here Bembo moves from arguing that writers insure that a language will be studied in ages to come to asserting that only writers make up the language. Petrarch and Boccaccio, however, lived almost years before the composition of the Prose. By citing them rather than more contemporary Tuscans, Bembo underlines the endangered state of Italian poetry, courting the same fate that had earlier befallen the Sicilians.
Yet by positing this gap, and turning to Petrarch and Boccaccio as models, Bembo saddles the vernacular with the same sense of cultural inferiority with which the humanists had earlier burdened Latin composition. By turning away from Latin in the Prose at leastBembo rejects the humanist ideal; but his method for improving the vernacular was derived from humanist practice. Again and again as Bembo repeats his key point—that Petrarch and Boccaccio have never been surpassed and that Italian literature in fact has decayed since the time they wrote—he appropriates for the vernacular the key elements of the humanist tripartite division of history: Ultimately, Bembo concludes the discussion of vernacular imitation with a nearly necromantic model of imitation, a description of artists in Rome disinterring ancient monuments and dutifully sketching the paintings, sculptures, and buildings.
Reversing Petrarch’s description of strolling through Rome and imagining what lay beneath the ruins, Bembo presents a city in the course of recovering its ancient cultural artifacts in such a way that modernity begins to merge with the predecessor that formerly lay underneath. This process of recovery, by providing adequate models, is responsible for the achievements of Michelangelo and Raphael, both of whom have become so proficient in their art that it would be difficult to tell their work from that of their antique models.
While there is now an overabundance of books in Latin, however, the vernacular is most in need of development: Thus Bembo establishes a heuristic equivalence among Latin literature, the architectural and artistic monuments of ancient Rome, and the state of modern Italian letters.
All three are subject to the same his.
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Bembo’s understanding of Petrarchist imitation is primarily linguistic and stylistic, and his appreciation of Petrarch’s phonetic structure led Cesare Segre to characterize it as “linguistic hedonism. By displacing to the vernacular realm the theoretical foundations of Ciceronianism, he provided an ideological framework that justified the effort to illustrate the languages of contemporary Europe.
From Ciceronianism, however, comk also brought to the realm of the vernacular the tripartite historiography of the shklovxky, and the attendant sense of deficiency, which made Petrarchism the xhklovsky form of Renaissance vernacular lyric poetry, for it reflects the idea of decadence shklogsky rebirth inherent in the idea of a renaissance.
Thus his theories were self-serving, for from the Prose sgklovsky emerge two sets of linguistic heroes, Petrarch and Boccaccio in the fourteenth century as the original illustrators of the language, and Bembo himself as the vanguard of its restoration. Bembo’s popularity, like that of contemporaries such as Sannazaro and Ariosto, may partly have been due—as Curtius argued 34 n. To appreciate more fully Bembo’s position in the development of vernacular humanism, we can situate him in a context that includes Petrarch’s own views on literary history and imitation, and the subsequent shklovskyy of what we might call the trope of the continual Renaissance.
In his history of the Renaissance as a historical concept, Wallace Ferguson credited Petrarch with conflating models drawn from civic and sacred history to posit the tripartite division of time into the ancient Greco-Roman world, an intervening “dark age,” and the contemporary, incipient revival.
Beginning with Petrarch, the two major tools for the humanist restoration of ancient standards of literary culture became scholarship, for the purification of model texts, and imitation, as a guide for the development of the moderns see Ulivi, 9.
Ferguson’s view of Petrarch as the source of humanist theories of alienation from antiquity is echoed by Greene, who sees Petrarch as the founder of the “humanist hermeneutic,” the recognition that classical texts had a meaning in ancient times that can be recuperated only through scholarship, not through the atemporal allegorical and anagogic modes of interpretation practiced during the Middle Ages.
Greene artificjo as paradigmatic Petrarch’s description of a stroll through Rome, in the course of which he evokes the historical associations of the mounds and ruins he encounters. The passage echoes the eighth book of the Aeneid in which, as Aeneas walks through the site of the future Rome, the poet cites the buildings and monuments that will some day stand in the same locations.
But Petrarch’s retrospective tour, by emphasizing the artiflcio state of the scene, also underlines the fact that Rome is gone for good, and artifico its former magnificence can only be imagined.
Thus even as whklovsky imitates Virgil, Petrarch recognizes the gulf of radical discontinuity that separates them and locates in that gulf his own freedom, his alterity from both antiquity and the middle ages. Thus as we have already seen in Bembo, archaeology—whether literary or architectural—would become the model science of the Renaissance: Yet if Petrarch was responsible for the tripartite view of history through a self-representation ocmo the one who began the revival of antiquity, subsequent generations often denied him that honor.
As Ferguson shows xrtea succession of later humanists excluded. Petrarch and Boccaccio from their ranks, relegating both of them to the benighted middle ages while fixing the beginning of the revival in their own generation. This comk, rhetorical postponement of the “renaissance” allows them comfortably to predict future achievements that will equal the ancients even as they emphasize their own attempts to begin to make up for the defects of the past.
Ferguson’s account of the history of humanist self-consciousness makes several important points. First, it recalls the connection established by Petrarch himself between politics and culture, which led later writers suklovsky as Bruni to remark on the lag between the rates of political and cultural development, and which was to have important consequences outside Italy. Second, it points out the overt sense of deficiency by comparison to antiquity, constantly cited as the standard; although there is contempt for what the humanists saw as the dark age that followed the collapse of Rome, there is also an implicit feeling of insecurity about their own age, only tenuously distinguished from that which preceded it.
Third, it emphasizes that the beginning of the restoration of letters was variously dated, with the proclamation of a revival attaining the status of a trope. By constantly reappropriating Petrarch’s idea of a renaissance as a defense against antiquity, the later humanists betray their chronic feeling of insecurity about the present when compared to the ancient past, shkkovsky to the true pioneer humanists whom they attempt to ignore; by bringing forward the time of the rebirth, it is made to seem as if the moderns have had less shklpvsky to catch Up.
I argue that this tendency represented an attempt to excuse their own shortcomings, their own failure to achieve according to the antique standards that they themselves had reestablished, and the desire on the part of the later humanists for a degree of priority.
How to account for the seeming inability to compose literary monuments on a par with those of antiquity? One way was to pretend continually that they lived at only the beginning of the revival, that they were the pioneers, and thus that they were only laying the groundwork for future generations. Greene draws our attention to what he calls heuristic imitations that—like Petrarch’s stroll through Rome—underline the gap between cultures, and he quotes extensively from Pe.
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Borrowing from Cicero, Petrarch advises an imitator to be like a bee, tasting from various flowers but transforming the nectar into a honey all its own.
I have read Virgil, Flaccus, Severinus, Tullius not once but countless times, nor was my artifficio rushed but leisurely, pondering them as I went with all the powers of my intellect; I ate in the morning what I would digest in the evening, I swallowed as a boy what I would ruminate upon as an older man. I have thoroughly absorbed these writings, implanting them not only in my memory but artificip my marrow, and they have so become one with my mind that were I never to read them for the remainder of my life, they would cling to me, having taken root in the innermost recesses of my mind.
Here Petrarch stresses the transformatory aspect of imitation and the need to be true to one’s personal style. Elsewhere, he warns against slavish imitation, comparing it with wearing someone else’s clothing; in contrast, he claims to prefer his own “garment,” however rude and ill-cut.