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Ticknor also asked his friend to present copies of the Spanish translation of his History of Spanish Literature to Duran, Tapia, and Quintana. Yet his interest in the Romancero never weakened, and he continued collecting, reading, and studying Spain's past poetry with the same gusto that marked his early years. T h e y shared an avid interest in the romances, and had collaborated on magazines together since The idea did not die; ten years later while Duran was prepar- ing his new Romancero, the friendship grew warm again.

Vida Y Milagros De... (Coleccion Algarabia) (Spanish Edition)

Obviously, a definitive collection was an impossibility, but Duran came closer than anyone before him to what could be considered a complete Romancero, and his work stands even today as a major source book for this type of poetry. Duran reproduced the text intact, although it had been first pub- lished by Michel in Paris in and a year later by Wolf in Vienna.

To it he appended a small prologue and several pages of notes to clarify points of his- torical discrepancy. This was the first Spanish publication of the verse work. This small section buried deep within the Romancero clearly demonstrated several interesting features of Duran which had come to be his trademarks : caution in his literary conjectures, scrupulous scholarship, humility, and kind- ness.

Aside from defining for his purposes the terms viejo, antiguo, nuevo, and mo- derno as applied to the romances, he divided them into three general series - novelesque or fabulous Moorish, chivalresque, and some vulgares , historical, and assorted amorous and satirical - and then further reduced them to eight narrower categories which, according to the spirit, character, theme, and lan- guage they contained, would serve finally to classify each romance.

As before he abandoned any attempt at a strict chronological classification. Depping, Romancero, I, p. After publication, he sent a copy to Duran. They were, however, totally free of any oriental influence. They faith- fully reflected those customs which were especiailly indicative of the nascent Spanish culture. Duran noted their lack of lyrical enthusiasm or fantastic adornment as well as their rudeness. Their rhyme scheme and meter varied radically according to the poet's whim, who often added or subtracted syllables or shifted accents in order to meet the metric demands.

They were often of epic propor- tion and permitted the poet to infuse a touch of subjectivity into their outwardly novelistic or historical design. They were more lyrical, imaginative, and senti- mental than those of Glass I.

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Although consonan tal rhyme was dominan t, asson- ance could often be found. All extant romances of this type postdated They were narrative epics, and dated from approximately the same era as those of the first class. Consonance and assonance were often mixed, and the meter was more often than not unaffected and inaccurate, but given their authorship they did maintain a slightly greater degree of technical artistry.

They were rather servile imitations of the written accounts of those poems found in the chronicles. Duran called them "prosa mal rimada", since they lacked the spirit and spontaneity of their models, and, since they often employed contemporary terms and phrases, he accused them of anachronism in locution and style. They were also noticeably more subjective than those of Class IV. As in the first three classes, these romances were epic or lyric, colored often by their oriental models. VI New vulgar romances, written in the language and style of the day. They affected cultured manners in an attempt to display knowledge and wit.

They were created by "gente lega" who presumed to know a little more than the common man, but who more often fell into pretentious pedantry. They were full of incorrect rhyming patterns and set phrases included to fill out the meter. They were artistic, displaying correct rhyme and meter. The "modern" romances of the last class were those which managed to com- bine all the past elements of national poetry into purely artistic creations. A romances of epic form with lyrical, doctrinal and descriptive elements woven in, but which were essen- tially objective, even when the poet took off on flights of imagination or ora- torical rhetoric.

Thoroughly subjective, the poet displayed his lyricism and inner feelings in verse ranging from the satirical to the erotic. They also often presented historical themes, but this became an artifice for the poet who wanted to "disimular un tanto su personalidad y [exponer] sus propias ideas". Developing his idea of the romance as the first valid art form, Duran pointed out that popular expression undoubtedly preceded erudite expression, support- ing his claim most subjectively by writing, "porque la naturaleza precede al arte, la espontaneidad al estudio, y la memoria a la escritura aplicada a las rudas producciones del vulgo.

As he had done elsewhere, Duran adopted a reasonable and scholarly pos- ture : he tried his best, he said, in his presentation and discussion of the romances but was far from pronouncing himself the only authoritative voice. He admitted that without adequate documents his observations remained mere conjecture; and being what he was - a Spaniard searching in his own special way for the "truths" of Spanish literature - he hoped for the day when his hypotheses would be confirmed or even negated by new literary discoveries.

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In the years which passed between the original and this new Romancero, he obviously had the opportunity to restudy and discover new material, and the result of this investigation was a critique which essentially followed his original views, but more varied and richer in detail. He could not ignore the existence in Spain of hispan- ized versions of the feudal cycles, but he countered their presence by remaining faithful to the dichotomy he had established between the pueblo and everyone else.

Juan II de Castilla; pero la rechazaron los cantores del pueblo. Their major im- portance, Duran pointed out, was for the documentation of the historical, liter- ary, political, and philosophical concerns of Spain's past. As mentioned, the romances which have been preserved from the middle of the fifteenth cen- tury were actually reworkings of poems from centuries earlier, preserved in the minds and traditions of the people.

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He realized that this was only supposition; but it was intelligent supposition based on linguistic evidence words and phrases which were suggestive of the language of earlier times. It was this type of romance which most inspired Lope, and sparked his creation of Spain's national theater.

Europe discovered the East in two ways. The four subdivisions comprised 1 romances not belonging to a series of tales, 2 those which form a more or less complete story, 3 the satirical and burlesque romances, and, 4 imitations of all of the above. Their subjects were so diverse that Duran found it impossible to ascribe them any thematic unity other than the broad one of "Moorishness". Their topics spanned the entire scope of the Romancero, and they were 79 Ibid.

He selected his facts only to support his argument, insist- ing that all evils were implanted from above.

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In his sparse comments he seemed to be most taken by the satirical and burlesque. This same moral edification could be found in the romances of this type. Given the prohibitive number of "assorted" romances, Duran was able to select what he considered to be the best examples of each type for publication in this Romancero. It is not surprising, then, that they both published reviews of the volume when it finally appeared.


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It became a curiosity, later preserved and then relished in the Romanceros until the end of the seventeenth century. But as Duran had previously indicated, the advent of narrow neoclassicism fostered the decline of the romances as well as the drama. Hartzenbusch praised the collection for its originality, but credited the present volume with completeness as well as a more systematic classification, clearer prologue and explanatory notes, and valu- able appendices. Benedicto, His article fairly overflowed with praise of Duran as a collector and critic, gentleman and scholar, Spaniard and friend; small wonder that Duran reprinted it, although that does not minimize its sincerity or truthfulness.

Not surprisingly, Wolf reviewed both volumes of the collection. D u r a n included it "no por vana- gloria literaria" in the second volume of his final Romancero. T h e stimulus of twentieth-century ap- preciation of Spanish popular poetry can be traced directly to D u r a n , and others like him in the last century, who labored for the rehabilitation of all popular poetry. H e h a d many valuable things to say about all the romances, and he aptly pointed to the lyric ballads which suggested folkloric origins mixed with Arabic influence. For him 90 Wolf's detailed criticisms can be found in his Historia.

The "popular" origins which Duran tried so desperately to pro ve, eluded his grasp and were left for later scholars to discuss. The discovery of the kharjas has led us to believe in the existence of a popular lyric tradition well before A. It is his theories on the origins of the historical romances which modern scholars have had to rectify.

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Duran also felt the octosyllabic form to be their ori- ginal form and Huber and Wolf concurred , but he was never able to convince his countrymen of the validity of that assumption. There existed no systematic analysis of the origins and diffusion of primitive Spanish verse. He did not inherit judgments from previous scholars, but created them from the careful and exhaustive study of the material at hand.

Excusing the weak- ness of his collection he wrote that he had excluded all forms not relating to the romance in construction or metric combination; these, he said, would be 94 Rivas, p. Ferdinand Wolf, writing to Gayangos from Vienna in praised "la noticia que el Sr. Assuredly his interest did not diminish. O n IV, Wolf wrote of a "suple- mento que se propone publicar el Sr. As Gordon Brotherston notes, "since the object of collecting traditional tales, riddles and songs was to gather material for subsequent scientific analysis and assessment, the temptation to doctor them prematurely was to be resisted.

Certainly the kindred spirit of Cipriana's grandsons An- tonio and Manuel Machado was notable. Antonio even claimed to have learned to read from his great-great uncle's Romancero f" his grandmother at any rate used to read the romances to the boys before they went to sleep each night. Dated July, Vida y obra New York: Hispanic Institute, , p. One aspect which has received little attention is his role as a linguist, a role which will become increasingly more important when his poetry is discussed in the next section.

Part of his philosophy of linguistics was expressed in his maiden address to the Real Academia de la Lengua on November 6, In his usual careful way he pleaded the case for linguistic progressivism.

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He was in favor of a free-flowing language in both syntax and vocabulary which could accom- modate itself to the necessities of the times. The correlation between his atti- tude toward Spain's language and its literature is obvious. This speech was of minimal linguistic impact since the truncation of the language was never a very serious issue. Linguistically, Duran could reflect totally unorthodox and fanciful views as 1 1 have classified as "miscellaneous" all those critical articles and comments of Duran which do not deal directly with the national theater or his Romancero — his comments on contemporary drama, painting, sculpture, linguistics, and philosophy, as well as on the prose writings of figures from Spain's past.

As a drama critic he was undoubtedly qualified, at least as far as his own standards were concerned - he had studied classical dramatic theory yet could select and interpret according to artistic merit, author intent, emotional impact, and technical achievement. They also allowed him to display an impressive knowledge of currents out- side the mainstream of his classic-romantic interests. Where was the fully romantic Duran who violently lashed out against all classicism? Glearly he did not exist.


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  7. The review consisted of a complaint about not being able to obtain opening-night tickets, a plot outline of the play, and very few critical observations, none worth repeating. A balance between knowledge of both the classical and the romantic still de- fined as Golden Age-national was evident in his artistic criticism. As drama and poetry were viewed as means to preserve history and custom, so was sculpture : ".

    Duran could analyze with care and calculation, but he could also permit himself to respond to heights of emotional fancy which certain works or parts of works, graphic or theatrical, struck in him. Although calm often dominated him, he was never cold. As the years progressed he never lost this sense of emotion which could reveal for him hidden beauties and inexpressible delights in a work of art or litera ture. This statue instigated Duran to cali for the commissioning of one by Sola of another great Spaniard - Cervantes.