Quevedo (Twayne's World Authors Series, TWAS 153: Spain)
Donald W. Bleznick
TWAYNE'S WORLD AUTHORS SERIES (TWAS)
The purpose of TWAS is to survey the major writers—novelists, dramatists, historians, poets, philosophers, and critics—of the nations of the world. Among the national literatures covered are those of Australia, Canada, China, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Latin America, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain, and the African nations, as well as Hebrew, Yiddish, and Latin Classical literatures. This survey is complemented by Twaynes United States Authors Series and English Authors Series.
The intent of each volume in these series is to present a critical-analytical study of the works of the writer; to include biographical and historical material that may be necessary for understanding, appreciation, and critical appraisal of the writer and to present all material in clear, concise English—but not to vitiate the scholarly content of the work by doing so.
Francisco de Quevedo (1580-1645) is undeniably one of the greatest Spanish writers that ever lived. He wrote during the Baroque period, a time in which Spanish literature reached its pinnacle of efflorescence. It is ironical that this same era manifested a progressive deterioration of Spain's political and economic power. This decline of a formidable empire built by Charles V and Philip II in the sixteenth century was accompanied by bitter disillusion and futile attempts to comprehend and remedy the causes. No other Golden Age writer, with the possible exception of Cervantes, reveals so profound a grasp of the ideals and mores of the Spanish people.
1596 forced Philip to seek peace with some of his enemies. The ties between Spain and the Netherlands were loosened in 1596 when Philip handed over final for the Low Countries to his cousin the Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia. According to the terms of the agreement, Spanish troops were to remain in the Netherlands and the land was to revert to Spain if the new rulers died the without leaving an heir. In May. 1598, about four months before concluded the Franco-Spanish
with the two words ^Que necedad?, "What foolishness?" (O.C. I, 868-69) In effect, he is pinpointing here all the events that precipitated and followed this crucial episode in Roman history, all of which he envisions as one stupidity heaped upon another. In his satire of Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, Quevedo repeats the word jquien?, "who?", at the beginning of each strophe, and usually assassinating Julius Caesar in several paragraphs QUEVEDO 108 once or twice more in each stanza as he rhetorically
infinitives. formulation of putidoncella, "a girl who pretends to be a respectable maiden but is really a prostitute," derives from puta, "prostitute," and doncella, "maiden." The neologism calvi-casadas, "women married to bald men," originates from calvo, "bald," combined with casadas, "married women." The word latiniparla, "a woman who speaks Latin," is created from latin, "Latin," and parla, "chatters." Some infinitives invented by Quevedo are: bodar, "to marry," from boda, "marriage";
uno means "to perpetrate a great deceit." Using darse a, "to give oneself over to," as a model, Quevedo invents darse a medicos, "to put oneself at the mercy of physicians." The expressions condenar a galeras, "to condemn to the galleys," or condenar a las penas eternas, "to condemn to eternal suffering," yield condenar a duena, "to condemn one to the suffering inflicted by a duenna," and condenar a privado, "to condemn one to the mercy of an (unscrupulous) favorite of the king." The phrase
books on political theory, written in Spanish and Latin, that inundated the Iberian Peninsula during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Critics have sought the sources of Quevedo's political thought in contemporary Spanish writers ( Mariana and Suarez ) works of ; Italians ( Peruta, Campa- nula, Boccalini and Botero); in the Utopia of Thomas Moore; in French political philosophers (Bodin, Languet); and, in the Belgian, Justus Lipsius. 2 However, were one to peruse Spanish political