Mysterious Realms: Functions of Imagery in Traditional Spanish Lyric and Balladry

Mysterious Realms: Functions of Imagery in Traditional Spanish Lyric and Balladry

Mysterious Realms: Functions of Imagery in Traditional Spanish Lyric and Balladry

Mysterious Realms: Functions of Imagery in Traditional Spanish Lyric and Balladry

Excerpt

THE TWO PRINCIPAL BODIES of traditional poetry in the Spanish Middle Ages, lyric and narrative, have been studied, sorted and anthologized repeatedly throughout the centuries. However, the majority of studies of the Romancero and lyric traditions treat the two bodies of works separately, and typically provide little clarification of what "lyrical" means. Nonetheless, the widespread use of the vague category "lyrical ballads" in some ballad anthologies reflects an awareness on the part of the compilers of these works that there is an overlap between the two genres. In general, theories which distinguish lyric from narrative poetry, such as those of Eugenio Asensio, Paul Zumthor and Antonio Sánchez Romeralo, discussed below, do so on the basis of form or structure. Form is an appropriate starting point in defining lyric and narrative, for it provides the most obvious distinction between these two types of song. These discussions of form, Paul Zumthor's in particular, appear to minimize the role of content, the signified, as a criterion for defining lyric and narrative. The primary goal of this work is to review the ways in which scholars have characterized these two genres of oral poetry and to test the validity of some of the common assumptions regarding their similarities and differences through analysis of sample texts from each body of works. This examination shall focus on the role of imagery , which proves instrumental in discovering to what degree these two sub-genres of traditional poetry overlap. The captivating effects which result from strategic uses of images in the lyric often are overlooked in the narrative. This space shared by both genres, the realm of the . . .

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