Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Fray Luis de León A Biographical Fragment   By:

Book cover

First Page:

HISPANIC NOTES & MONOGRAPHS

ESSAYS, STUDIES, AND BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES ISSUED BY THE HISPANIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA

I

[Illustration: EL MAESTRO FRAI LVIS DE LEON]

FRAY LUIS DE LEON

A Biographical Fragment

BY

JAMES FITZMAURICE KELLY, F.B.A.

With a Portrait from an engraving after Pacheco .

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS HUMPHREY MILFORD 1921

PRINTED IN ENGLAND AT THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS BY FREDERICK HALL

PREFACE

This biographical sketch is, in fact, a fragment of a book which will now never come into existence. This particular chapter has been snatched from the burning by an accident. The name of Luis de Leon deservedly ranks as high as that of any poet in the history of Spanish literature; but his reputation as a poet is mostly local, while he is known all the world over as the subject of a dubious anecdote. The attempt is now made to render him more familiar than he has hitherto been to English speaking people, and to do this, to exhibit the man as he was, it proved necessary to analyse the two volumes of his first trial, the evidence of which is brought together in vols. X and XI of the Coleccion de Documentos inéditos para la Historia de España . Edited by Miguel Salvá and Pedro Sainz de Baranda, these volumes appeared in 1847; their value is incontestable, but, though they give the evidence as it occurs in the register of the Inquisition, this evidence is not arranged in consistent chronological order, nor is it supplied with an index. The work, printed seventy three years ago, is not within easy reach of every reader; and of those who have access to it not all are patient enough to read steadily through so large a mass of somewhat incoherent matter. Should any such readers be tempted to examine the record closely, it is hoped that this sketch will do something to make their task easier. An attempt is made here to picture the man as he was, full of fortitude, yet not exempt from human weakness. I trust that I have avoided the temptation to go to the opposite extreme, and lay the blame as has been done for the irregularities of the trial at Luis de Leon's own door.

In dealing with his Spanish poems, I have tried not to put his claims to consideration too high. Laboulaye, in La Liberté religieuse , calls Luis de Leon 'le premier lyrique de l'Europe moderne'. This phrase dates from 1859, and was addressed to a generation which delighted in arranging authors in something like the order of a class list. Though I have the highest opinion of Luis de Leon's genius, I have not felt tempted to follow Laboulaye's example; I have by preference discussed, so far as space allows, such points as the probable chronology of Luis de Leon's poems. Once more I repeat that this is a chapter of a book that will now never be written.

It may be as well to add at this point a few explanatory words concerning the plan of accentuation adopted here. There seems to be no valid reason for applying, in a book primarily intended for English readers, the modern Academic system to proper names borne in the sixteenth century by men who lived more than three hundred years before the current system was ever invented. Except of course in the case of quotations, that system is applied rigidly only to the names of those who have adopted it formally (as on pp. 114 n. and 191 n. ). I have gone on the theory that accents should be sparingly used in a work of this kind, and that, as accents are almost needless for Spaniards they should be employed only when the needs of foreigners compel their use. It is a fundamental rule in Spanish that nearly all words ending in a consonant should be stressed on the last syllable. But since nobody, however slightly acquainted with Spanish, is tempted to pronounce such words as Velazquez (p. 79) or Gomez (p. 250) incorrectly, no graphic accent is employed in such cases. Names ending in s such as Valbás are accentuated, however, when the stress falls on the last syllable: this prevents all possibility of confusion with the pronunciation of ordinary plural forms... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books