Nautical Votive Offerings and Imaginative Speculation in Góngora's Soledad primera

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With a particular focus on lines 29-33 and 477-80, this article analyzes the motif of the ex-voto or votive offering in Góngora’s Soledad primera. In relation to Golden-Age ex-votos more generally, both in popular practice and in literary convention, it identifies three characteristics that are central to Góngora’s development of the motif. These are the ex-voto’s capacity to signify in a metonymic mode, its fragmentary and ephemeral nature, and its sacralizing potential when exhibited beyond the bounds of the conventional sanctuary. The discussion suggests ways in which close attention to Góngora’s techniques in developing votive imagery can enhance a reading of the ‘grillo torneado’ conceit in lines 849-53 of the Soledad segunda, and can ultimately shed light on the imaginative, persuasive force that Góngora perceived in the votive artefact and its poetic analogues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of Spanish Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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