Garcilaso de la Vega and the Italian Renaissance

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Following studies by Goodman, Waley, and Darst, this new study of Garcilaso's work rejects as unfounded the traditional readings of Garcilaso's poetry based on the idea of sincerity and the poet's frustrated love for the Portuguese lady-in-waiting Isabel Freire. In place of the much-abused concept of sincerity, Heiple argues that the intellectual currents of the Renaissance are much more important for the analysis of Garcilaso's poetry. He analyzes in Garcilaso's poetry the uses of Renaissance concepts of mythology, poetic style, theories of love, primitivism, and iconological traditions. Especially important in these analyses are the poetic practices of Petrarchism as defined by Pietro Bembo and the reaction against them proclaimed by Bernardo Tasso.

Heiple studies each of the sonnets, tracing their roots in the Hispanic cancionero poetry through Petrarchism and Neoplatonism to the specific reactions against the Italian Petrarchan mode, ending with the sonnets in imitation of the classical epigram. Several longer poems, Canción IV, Elegy II, and Ode ad florem Gnidi, are discussed within the contexts of Renaissance poetic conventions and ideas, bringing to the fore Garcilaso's incisive wit. By abandoning the traditional search for biographical elements in the love poems, Heiple is able to bring new relevant information to the interpretation of well-known texts and provide new readings for many of Garcilaso's poems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Heiple’s book is an important addition to the already extensive critical corpus on the poetry of Garcilaso de la Vega. Scholarly, erudite, and impeccably researched, Heiple’s work attempts to place Garcilaso and his poetry into the larger context of Renaissance humanism. This is without question a significant contribution to the field of Garcilaso studies as well as to the broader fields of Renaissance studies and Italo-Hispanic literary relations. As such, it should appeal to a wide range of literary scholars.”
—James Mandrell, Brandeis University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271010168
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Studies in Romance Literatures
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 444
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel L. Heiple is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University and author of Mechanical Imagery in Spanish Golden Age Poetry (1984).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
I Garcilaso and the Rhetoric of Sincerity 1
1 Garcilaso's Critics and the Question of Sincerity 3
2 Text and Message in the Love Lyric 29
3 Garcilaso and Renaissance Modes of Imitation 55
II The Vernacular Renaissance 73
4 Pietro Bembo and Sixteenth-Century Petrarchism 77
5 Bernardo Tasso and the Beginnings of Anti-Petrarchism 103
III Garcilaso's Petrarchan Sonnets 135
6 Apprenticeship in the Italian Mode 143
7 The Petrarchan Sonnets 161
8 Unorthodox Petrarchan Postures 179
IV Anti-Petrarchan Postures in the Sonnets 197
9 Love Sonnets in a New Mode 201
10 Neoplatonic Themes in the Love Sonnets 233
11 The Dedicatory Sonnets 261
V Code and Paradox 279
12 Mars and Venus Shamed: The Paradox of Love and Civilization 281
13 Mars Dominant: Jealousy and the Difficulty of Moderation 317
VI Mars in the House of Venus: The Ode ad florem Gnidi 337
14 Garcilaso's Ode and the Classical Tradition 339
15 The Ode ad florem Gnidi as Iconological Mystery 365
Conclusion 393
Works Consulted 397
Index 419
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