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Extra resources for Library of Little Masterpieces 33 Autobiography

Sample text

Theory, in other words, must be tested by experience before it can be accepted, though at the same time there is a strong suggestion that the illogicality of life finally escapes any attempt at rationalization. Thus, in the course of the book, both the abstractions of the poems and the theorizing passages of the prose are judged in terms of human passions which, because they are presented dramatically, are more ' real' than either. Such considerations, it may be felt, make these poems a special case.

The vocabulary and most of the attitudes of cancionero poetry pass 20 Seventeenth-century Spanish poetry almost unchanged into the sixteenth century; what alters is not so much the basic concept of love as the way in which this is presented. This is partly a matter of literary form: though the poetry of Petrarch and his Spanish imitators still depends on medieval attitudes to love, the prevalence of the sonnet and the longer types of poem - the ode, the elegy, the eclogue - makes for a kind of spaciousness which is lacking in the older type of verse.

For who is not amazed and dumbfounded by this illustrious construction, this display of riches ? By the living Christ, each part is worth over a million, and it's a shame this can't last for a century, O great Seville, O Rome triumphant in spirit and nobility! I'll bet that today the dead man's soul has left the glory in which it dwells eternally in order to enjoy this The inheritance 33 place. ' And then, straight away, he rammed on his hat, checked his sword, looked sideways, went, and there was nothing left.

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