Selected Poetry of Francisco de Quevedo: A Bilingual Edition (Hardcover)

Selected Poetry of Francisco de Quevedo: A Bilingual Edition By Francisco de Quevedo, Christopher Johnson (Translated by) Cover Image

Selected Poetry of Francisco de Quevedo: A Bilingual Edition (Hardcover)


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Francisco de Quevedo (1580–1645), one of the greatest poets of the Spanish Golden Age, was the master of the baroque style known as “conceptismo,” a complex form of expression fueled by elaborate conceits and constant wordplay as well as ethical and philosophical concerns. Although scattered translations of his works have appeared in English, there is currently no comprehensive collection available that samples each of the genres in which Quevedo excelled—metaphysical and moral poetry, grave elegies and moving epitaphs, amorous sonnets and melancholic psalms, playful romances and profane burlesques.

            In this book, Christopher Johnson gathers together a generous selection of forty-six poems—in bilingual Spanish-English format on facing pages—that highlights the range of Quevedo’s technical expertise and themes. Johnson’s ingenious solutions to rendering the difficult seventeenth-century Spanish into poetic English will be invaluable to students and scholars of European history, literature, and translation, as well as poetry lovers wishing to reacquaint themselves with an old master.

Christopher Johnson is associate professor of comparative literature at Harvard University.

Product Details ISBN: 9780226698892
ISBN-10: 0226698890
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: August 31st, 2009
Pages: 240
Language: English

“This is a thoughtful introduction to a major Baroque poet little known to English readers, one whom Borges called the greatest artificer in all of Hispanic letters. Christopher Johnson’s attentive selection and translation hit the high and low notes in Quevedo’s register, from scurrilous to near sublime, from ‘love that reaches beyond death’ to stoical sonnets about time, which ‘neither stumbles nor returns.’”

— Christopher Maurer, Boston University

“In translations which capture the startling metaphors, contrived symmetries and disarming directness of the original texts, Christopher Johnson offers fresh access in English to a selection of Quevedo’s finest poems.  His insight-filled introduction and notes guide the modern reader skillfully through the complexity and diversity of Spanish Baroque poetry.  This volume promises a new life in translation to some of the most emotionally and intellectually intense poems ever written in Spanish.”
— Mary Malcolm Gaylord, Harvard University

"Johnson has captured Quevedo's essence--his contradictory and conflictive nature, his emphasis on the incongruities of existence. The reader who expects a collection containing mostly sonnets . . . will be surprised to find a good number of silvas, romances, and letrillas (many of them vicious and scatological) on the thems of love, the brevity of life, morality, mythology, and satire,.'"
— Choice