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Thursday, April 11, 2024


 "Gamoneda’s 1977 Descripción de la mentira (Description of a Lie) merged ethics and aesthetics in everyday language. He would continue to write about the intersections of personal and collective concerns (love, family, aging, rural depopulation, immigration, economic need) throughout the democratic period, including Blues castellano (Castilian Blues, 1983; written in the 1960s but ..." 

Labanyi, Jo; Delgado, Luisa Elena. Modern Literatures in Spain (p. 272). Polity Press. Kindle Edition. 

I noticed this because, well, if you know about something, then you will see mistakes very easily. For example, if you read a newspaper article about something you know very, very well, then it will be inaccurate, in most typical cases. But this means that you cannot trust the same newspaper about things of which you are ignorant. 

Gamoneda's language in DDLM is not "everyday," but highly baroque. The idea of merging ethics and aesthetics is meaningless, without any added context, and a list of themes does nothing to explain why Gamoneda is a significant poet. It is confusing to say that he is writing during the democratic period a work that he had already written before. 

Probably the book as a whole is good, even though it happens not to be good on every page. It purports to be a cultural history, and covers languages other than Castilian. Perhaps, trying to do too much, it is going to be inadequate in many areas, not even mentioning, say, the most influential Spanish poet of the latter part of the twentieth century, José Angel Valente. 

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