Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Romance Languages

First Advisor

Jorge Téllez

Abstract

We have a distorted view of premodern and early modern poetry. The most common approach to the early modern poem has been made from postromantic conceptions of subjectivity. In other words, most of the studies project modern, anachronistic models of the subject onto premodern texts. Moreover, these studies assume that early modern poetry is tied to the personal expression of a defined individual, autonomous author. However, I argue that behind the lyric "I" that appears in early modern poetry there is a fluid, plural, and shared subjectivity. This fact is not visible when we read the poems out of context, but becomes clear when we consider the specific poetic practices involved in producing the texts. This dissertation studies social literary practices in early modern Spain and its American colonies. Specifically, it analyzes the relationship between subjectivity and lyric poetry in different social and literary contexts. My analysis of the early modern text combines two different but complementary approaches. On the one hand, I employ an archival, documentary approach based on book history, material culture, and the sociology of reading and writing practices. On the other hand, I take into account new currents of literary theory. Specifically, I base my readings on theories that relate aesthetics, politics, and subjectivity, and new theories of lyric poetry, such as the so-called New Lyric Studies, that reread poems using parameters other than the romantic lyric subject.Through this approach, I propose an alternative reading of the early modern lyric poem based on the interaction between specific poetic practices and the texts themselves.

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