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Gongora
     

Gongora

by Gongora, Pablo Picasso (Artist), John Russell (Introduction), Alan S. Trueblood (Translator)
 
Picasso was first attracted to the work of sixteenth-century Spanish poet Luis de Gongora y Argote during the 1920s, when the poet, called "the father of modern poetry" by Federico Garcia Lorca, was resurrected by the Surrealists. Gongora is comprised of twenty sonnets by the poet, which Pablo Picasso wrote out in hand and further embellished with flourishes, figures

Overview

Picasso was first attracted to the work of sixteenth-century Spanish poet Luis de Gongora y Argote during the 1920s, when the poet, called "the father of modern poetry" by Federico Garcia Lorca, was resurrected by the Surrealists. Gongora is comprised of twenty sonnets by the poet, which Pablo Picasso wrote out in hand and further embellished with flourishes, figures and sketches. The artist also rendered twenty portraits to accompany these poems. The result is a blending of word and image, full of imaginary variety and exceptional artistic virtuosity. This bilingual edition of Gongora, featuring a preface by award-winning poet Edward Hirsch and an introduction by former New York Times chief art critic John Russell, presents this intimate union of art and poetry.

Gongora's sophisticated and complex poetic style inspired a school of literature, called "culteranismo," influenced by his expressive power, unrestrained by the strict conventions of formal Spanish. Known for his sharp wit and self-satire, he was acutely aware of the irony in his passion for women and gambling, and his position as a deacon of the Catholic Church. In Gongora, Picasso's handwritten Spanish text, with its embellishing remarques closely following the words, established the artist's personal attachment to the poetry. The rich presentation of images—described as a "veritable feminine kaleidoscope"—invites the natural comparison with the great Spanish portraitists Velasquez and El Greco, who were Gongora's contemporaries.

This edition of Gongora will appeal to a broad audience and expose a new generation of readers to the lyrical brilliance ofthis groundbreaking Spanish poet and to the visual interpretation of his famous admirer. Picasso's etchings, executed in drypoint and aquatint, demonstrate an extraordinary ability to master the elements of light and shade to create rich, sensuous and mysterious effects. Perhaps Picasso's finest graphic accomplishment, Gongora is a memorable visual and literary experience. 40 duotone illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
The latest in Braziller's series of handsome reproductions of artists' books, this edition of sonnets by the Baroque Spanish poet Gongora is remembered in John Russell's introduction for its ``quite simply prodigious'' impact when it appeared in Paris in 1948. Picasso rendered the poems calligraphically, illustrating the margins liberally. The look is vigorous, spontaneous, and somewhat arrogant in its failure to bother with corrections. Separating the poems are portraits of young women, images familiar to us now through Picasso's later graphic work. The poems, in a new translation by Trueblood, remain appropriately dense and complex, as behooves the subject of considerable literary controversy and fashion. A nice book, but not as gorgeous as Matisse's colorful Jazz ( LJ 11/1/83) and Paul Elvard and Joan Miro's A Toute Epreuve ( LJ 11/1/84). Margot Karp, Pratt Inst. Lib., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807611333
Publisher:
Braziller, George Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2003
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
11.40(w) x 15.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Greg Johnson is the author of eleven previous books: the novels Pagan Babies and Sticky Kisses, a collection of poetry, a biography of Joyce Carol Oates, three works of literary criticism, and the short-story collections Distant Friends, A Friendly Deceit, I Am Dangerous, and Last Encounter With the Enemy. He was named Georgia Author of the Year in 1991 and 1997. His fiction has garnered wide acclaim, from The New York Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Chicago Tribune to the Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. A professor of English at Kennesaw State University, he lives in Atlanta.

Kate Northrop is the author of a previous collection, Back Through Interruption. She is Associate Professor of English at West Chester University, and lives in Philadelphia.

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