Desire and Death in the Spanish Sentimental Romance (1440-1550)

By Patricia E. Grieve | Go to book overview

voluntad pensava que la religion tan estrecha renunciasse; mas mirado como no menor pena me daria la verguença de bolverme que el dolor de comportar la tan travaiosa penitencia, por esta razon me detuve, en special que en respecto de aquella tan triste vida que yo dexe, es muy piadosa la que tengo. A la qua! poniendo muy buen coraçon, guarnido de suffrimiento, me haze por mas seguro suffrir este dolor. Y passados algunos dias en ell, ya como habituado assi como Pamphilo en las sus desaventuras me halle, tomando aquell refrigerio de las visiones ya dichas. Y como a cabo de dias me aquexo mantenimiento, veyendo que a Pamphilo las yervas solas le davan dulçe comer, no menos yo comence su verde gusto. (p. 73)

Grimalte claims that he would be giving in to will were he to renounce this activity, which he compares to a religious calling. It is ironic that Pamphilo's animal-like behavior is seen as reasonable, while the idea of returning to his former life would be an act of "voluntad." Grimalte would undoubtedly respond that the abandonment of this religious calling would be completely unacceptable. The narrative ends with a letter from Grimalte to Gradissa in which he blames her cruelty for his life of continual sorrow and penance and his impending death.


Conclusion

The structure of Grimalte y Gradissa involves an interplay of writing and reading, the contrast of reason and will, and the idea of desire and non-desire.

On the level of writing, Flores initially confuses us by telling us that he is the protagonist of the work even though he has changed his name to Grimalte. Consequently, throughout the work we share Flores' thoughts from a temporal perspective as well as an actual one: ostensibly, he wrote of his adventures to Gradissa, and what we are reading is the story within the story, in which the narrator relates to us his adventures from an earlier time and his current perspective on them. The literary nature of the work is amplified by the major importance of the verse which ends almost every speech and letter, and by the inclusion of references to an earlier writing and the appearance of another author's literary figures as real people.

The confusion of literature and life is exemplified by the conflict provoked: dealing with desire through the examination of, and

-90-

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