José Zorrilla: Crítica, ideología y política

Allbwn ymchwil: Pennod mewn Llyfr/Adroddiad/Trafodion CynhadleddPennod


José Zorrilla y Moral (1817-1893), the most prominent romantic writer in the Hispanic world, had a prolific and extensive career as a poet and play writer. His most famous poetic works belong to the so-called first romantic period, in which he led the development of romantic aesthetics after Larra’s death in the second quarter of the 19th century. Both the romantic aesthetics of his work and its impact, above all that of his play Don Juan Tenorio, have been extensively researched, synchronically and diachronically, nationally and internationally.

However, critics have not sufficiently addressed one of the most important questions raised by his return to Spain in 1866 after having stayed in Mexico for more than a decade: his premeditated revision of the poetic conception of beauty. This paper discusses the significance of Zorrilla’s conscious attempt to transform his romantic, poetic ideological models towards a poetic social representation, with special attention to one of the key questions unanswered until now: why a poet so praised by the Catholic press and moral critics in the early part of his career had so many detractors in the last two decades of his life and what were the political reasons for such a crusade against him?

To address these questions, I looked specifically at reviews, articles, literary critiques, and discourses about the morality of art published between 1870 and 1890, to prove that Zorrilla’s shift was primarily perceived by Catholic literary critics as a threat to a proposed return to canonical moral values in art after the end of the Revolution (1868-1875). The immorality perceived in the proliferation of positivist and materialist ideologies which occurred at this time, and their depiction in novels and poetry influenced from Paris (also known in Spain as the prostitute of Seine) initiated since the 60s an intellectual war over ideologies and literature. Zorrilla, who always moved away from the game of politics, was at the core of this ideological war between the old and the new principles of art. By comparing the style of reviews and critiques of his new poetic form published after his return by the liberal press and the sharp critiques by the Catholic and moral press, which are unveiled in this article, previously misunderstood connections between Zorrilla’s art and the late catholic press critiques can now be revealed.

Specifically, by comparing critical judgements about his late work published in La ilustración católica, La hormiga de oro, La ciencia cristiana and similar judgements published in the liberal press I outline the political strategy by which the Catholic press sought to undermine and smear Zorrilla’s work, burring him in life. Furthermore, I argue in this article that Zorrilla was fully aware of this literary and ideological war, as shown in some ironic comments made in his later prefaces and poems, as well as in several documents such as private letters and his Recuerdos del tiempo viejo (1880), in which he justifies his seduction by the new literary tendencies. For the political purpose of the traditional, conservative and patriotic ideology Zorrilla was, sadly, more useful dead than alive. The impact of his last poetic works Gnomos y mujeres (1886); La última brega (1888) o De Murcia al cielo (1888) was almost insignificant either in the overall terms of his literary production or on a period in which the poetic form was losing its privileged position in favour of prose. Yet still he was unable to stand outside the pivotal ideological debates that took place in Spain during and after the Revolución gloriosa. This research puts this decline in the context of the hitherto poorly understood debate that Zorrilla’s work and poetic ideas provoked in the 1870’s and 1880’s Spain.
Cyfieithiad o deitl y cyfraniadJosé Zorrilla: Critique, ideology and politics
Iaith wreiddiolSbaeneg
Man cyhoeddiMadrid
Cyhoeddwrwisteria Ediciones
Nifer y tudalennau33
CyfrolEnsayos 7
ISBN (Argraffiad)9788494907739
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 2018

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