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Renaissance du théâtre médiéval

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Véronique Dominguez

Partie I. Permanences du théâtre médiéval : rites et textes

Ausiàs March’s Text of Subjectivity and Francesc Moner’s Auto de Amores of the Early Spanish Renaissance

Peter Cocozzella

Texte intégral

Introduction

1In a suggestive essay entitled “Cancionero Poetry and the Celestina: From Metaphor to Reality,” Theodore L. Kassier explains how various aspects of the lyric poetry collected in numerous cancioneros throughout the Spanish realm in the course of the fifteenth century become integrated into the fabric of the famed Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, better known as Celestina. Adopting the method followed in studies by Stephen Gilman and Carmelo Samonà, Kassier profiles a poetics of assimilation in terms of the manner in which Fernando de Rojas, presumed author of Celestina, transforms the conventional topics of cancionero lyricism. Following is Kassier’s description of Rojas’s technique, a momentous literary phenomenon, which Kassier calls “literalization:”

  • 1 Theodor L. Kassier, Cancionero Poetry and the Celestina: From Metaphor to Reality, in Hispanófila, (...)

The nature and extent of the relationship between the work’s [Celestina’s] plot and the conventions of troubadour poetry are suggested by the process employed with the conventional hawk, garden, walls, and ladders. In all of these cases, Rojas takes the conventional metaphors of that poetic tradition, some extended to their poetical use into allegory, and envisions them literally, making them real components of the work’s action. While the hawk, garden, ladders and walls are to begin with concrete representations of abstract notions, and therefore easily used “literally” in the Celestina, the process of literal envisioning is applicable also to the more abstract “sacro-profane hyperbole.”1

2Thus, Kassier takes up a number of topics – the ones mentioned in the passage, and a few others, such as Fortune and witchcraft added later – and shows the radical shift that Rojas brings about from the realm of fiction and allegory to that of the workaday world.

  • 2 Throughout this essay the following abbreviations are used for the works of Francesc Moner: A: The (...)

3Kassier’s cogent argument has inspired me to explore the dimension of a “literalization” analogous to the one discussed in the aforementioned article. From my perspective, the shift from the literary to the literal is evinced in a kind of text that becomes an emblem of subjectivity as well as an existential icon of the lover’s experience. My purpose is to illustrate the distinctive characteristic of that text through the landmark evolution brought about in the poetics of solitude and subjectivity by none other than Ausiàs March, the stellar poet who flourished in Valencia in the first half of the fifteenth century. In this essay I intend to show how Ausiàs March’s impressive legacy became a source of inspiration for a group of writers who flourished in Barcelona and Valencia in the second half of the fifteenth century. It will become evident that, among these writers, the Catalan Francesc Moner, who died in Barcelona at the age of twenty-nine around 1492, distinguished himself for not only assimilating into his own literary production the salient traits of March’s subjectivism but also dramatizing those traits in a type of composition (the socalled auto de amores) that exhibits a potential for a full-fledged theatrical representation. I argue, then, that Moner fully realized his project for a new theatrical form. Whether that project actually was brought to the stage remains open to conjecture. What is certain, all the same, is that the theatrical mode conceived by Moner constitutes an effective medium for securing March’s abiding influence on future generations of lletraferits: that is to say, to a host of writers and other lovers of literature.2

4Specifically, my discussion will go through the following steps:

  • highlighting March’s extraordinary contribution to the literature of the Renaissance;
  • identifying the members of the immediate circle of March’s worthy emulators and leading exponents of what may be called the bard’s literary community both in Barcelona and in Valencia;
  • focusing on Moner’s lifetime achievement: a novel type of écriture that exhibits the unlikely – almost paradoxical – blend of ratiocination and emotionalism;
  • foreshadowing such dramatic qualities of Moner’s style as the colorful depiction of allegorical personages and the formulation of a vivacious dialogue that reflects the informality and spontaneity of common everyday speech;
  • outlining a literary mode that Moner endows with remarkable stage presence and viability.

A Poetics of Subjectivity

  • 3 Martí de Riquer provides the essential orientation on March’s life and works (Història de la liter (...)

5In the light of abundant evidence adduced by a burgeoning bibliography, Ausiàs March is emerging as a central figure, towering, at the dawn of the Renaissance, over the vast panorama of literature of both the Catalan and Castilian domains.3 Worthy of note is the following incisive observation:

  • 4 R. Archer, The Pervasive Image, op. cit., p. IX.

It is... tempting to speculate that had March written in Spanish instead of in a language which was soon to lose its political currency, he would be now undoubtedly more widely recognised as the finest lyric poet in the Iberian Peninsula before the sixteenth century, and as one of the greatest in the fifteenth century Europe as a whole.4

  • 5 “Una aproximació a March en set punts,” Seminari El gust per la lectura, Curs 1994-1995, Servei d’ (...)
  • 6 Ausiàs March and the Troubadour Poetic Code, in J. Gulsoy and Josep M. Solà-Solé (eds.), Catalan S (...)
  • 7 La doble soledat d’Ausias March, Barcelona, Quaderns Crema, 1987.
  • 8 Ausiàs March o l’emergència del jo, Barcelona, Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 1998.
  • 9 “Ramon Llull and Catalan Tradition” [Keynote Address], Catalan Poetry Symposium (Poets House, New (...)

6Besides Archer, a number of prominent critics, Lola Badia,5 Costanzo Di Girolamo,6 Josep Miquel Sobrer,7 Marie-Claire Zimmermann,8 among others – let’s call them representative ausiasmarquistes – com to grips, sooner or later, with a key quality that Harold Bloom, in one of his recent public lectures, underscores precisely in March’s poetics.9 Bloom refers with great admiration to March’s “fierce personalism.” It is fair to say that these distinguished students of Ausiàs March approach such “fierce personalism” with sundry nomenclature and from different angles. Sobrer and Zimmermann rely on the intuitive method and, as the title of their studies indicate, delve into, respectively, the sense of isolation and egocentrism experienced by the poet’s persona. Archer and Di Girolamo take an analytical route and deal with issues of language and rhetoric. Within the group Badia is the chief exponent of the historical perspective, which conditions her shrewd investigation of the literary tradition coming to a head in and emanating from the great bard from Valencia.

  • 10 For a concise explanation of this terminology see Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs and Garcilaso Revisited (...)
  • 11 See Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs March’s ‘Encyclopaedic Form:’ Toward a Poetic of Syncretism, in B. La (...)

7In my own studies on March I envisage a metaphysical analysis of the type that leads to the discovery of what may be called “lyrical syncretism” or “syncretic lyricism.”10 The labels designate the uncanny articulation of two concomitant textual operations: one directed to a personal or lyrical focus, the other oriented toward a cosmic, epic scope.11 Also, the metaphysical approach allows a direct connection with some salient (four in all) facets of Ausiàs March’s aesthetic, which here we can only list and summarily describe: 1) the refurbishment of language; 2) the development of a special mimetic function of the poetic expression; 3) the fashioning of crucial rhetorical devices, inherent in a type of lyricism that turns out to be an existential correlative of experience or life itself; 4) the implications of this lyricism especially in terms of the preter-rational phenomenology of conversion.

8A few observations are in order concerning these fundamental characteristics of March’s revolutionary ars poetica. We may notice, to begin with, that March’s semantic renewal constitutes a close analogue for the poetics of literalization discussed by Kassier. As Di Girolamo points out,

  • 12 Ausiàs March and the Troubadour Poetic Code, p. 236.

any word used by A. March is precise and has few possible secondary meanings or overtones: this explains why terms, avoided by his predecessors, are present in his vocabulary. And this is one of he most important aspects of his language: it is semantically concrete, in contrast with the semantic hypertrophy of the troubadours; one might almost speak of “verbal realism,” and this is the only sense in which “realism” can be used with reference to A. March. In contrast to his contemporaries or predecessors, he has attempted a reduction of the poetic word, bringing to it a less elevated level, and rendering its interpretation possible without the help of any medieval semantic or stylistic filters.12

  • 13 Aproximació a Ausiàs March, Barcelona, Empúries, 1996, p. 20.
  • 14 Ibid., p. 17-22.
  • 15 Ibid., p. 47.
  • 16 For the text of this and other poems by Ausiàs March, see R. ARCHER, Ausiàs March, Obra completa, (...)
  • 17 Ibid., p. 89.
  • 18 Ibid., p. 92.

9As for the mimetic function listed above, we may rely on Archer’s explication focussed on the rhetoric of what Archer calls the here and now (“l’ara i aquí”).13 In his Aproximació a Ausiàs March, Archer takes up such characteristics as the saltatory rendition of the monologue, the rejection of the discursive format of the moralistic treatise, the dramatic rather than logical underpinning of the poetic structure, the immediate representation of mental states.14 Archer brings to light, also, an occasional “resultat de la decisió de March de rebutjar el compromís didàctic” (“result of March’s decision to reject a commitment to didacticism”).15 In other words, in poems like “El cant espiritual” (that is, Cant CV),16 the strained coherence of March’s philosophical and theological disquisitions imply a less than wholehearted commit-ment to an intention or desire to explicate a doctrinal proposition. Archer makes no bones about the appearance of deflected expectations in some of March’s signal compositions. This is especially true of Cants XXVI, XXXI, XXXII, in which, as Archer states, “[l]es nostres expectatives d’una unitat semàntica final a primera vista semblen ser decebudes...” (“at first blush, our expectations of an ultimate semantic unity seem to be frustrated”).17 Apropos of Cant XXXIX Archer goes as far as to envisage an annihilation of meaning: “la tornada anul⋅la el sentit d’integritat retòrica” (“the poem’s envoi destroys the sense of rhetorical integrity”).18

  • 19 For a comprehensive definition of yo and circunstancia, the well-known mutually complementary prin (...)

10Elsewhere, I have come upon a counterpoint of sorts for the dynamics of instability that Archer points out in March’s discourse. At issue is the end product of literary creativity that calls to mind Ortega y Gasset’s famed principles and Unamuno’s esthetic concerns.19 The following excerpt from my own study provides the essential illustration for the concepts that I introduce here:

  • 20 Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs March and the “Truth” of the Troubadours, in L. BADIA et al. (ed.), Studi (...)

Borrowing Ortega y Gasset’s famed terminology, we may observe that the quest for truth moves Ausiàs March to come to grips with the complex existential interplay between his yo and his protean circunstancia. Out of March’s coming to terms with his reality, blossoms his insight into a mimesis of the dynamics of the lover’s psyche, in particular, and, in general, of life itself. A natural outgrowth of March’s mimesis is a model of structure stemming not from a preestablished mold but, rather, from the evolution – the creación vivípara, Unamuno would say – of an organic whole, always in flux as it mirrors in kaleidoscopic display, the various aspects of the lover’s existence. Structure for Ausiàs March is removed as far as possible from the static or, for that matter, from the ecstatic. Far from responding to a prearranged plan, it impresses the reader with the apprehension of the immediate, even as it conveys the poet’s dramatic involvement with the minute-to-minute unfolding of human experience. In the final analysis, such a structure strikes us as an intriguing forerunner – a fifteenth-century analogue of sorts – of the modern device of the stream of consciousness or of Unamuno’s notion of the creación a lo que salga.20

  • 21 Id., Ausiàs March’s Imitatio Christi, op. cit., p. 428-429.
  • 22 Ibid., p. 428. This hylemorphic formula is applicable, also, to the two motifs that Antonio Prieto (...)

11Closely related to the mimesis profiled here, there follows, third in the list specified above, the characteristic of a “life-text,” to coin a term. The label refers to the ultimate manifestation of “literalization:” the full-fledged interface between the literary mode and the immediate representation of lived experience through common everyday language. What is at play here is, particularly, the highest degree of intercommunication between the allegorical realm and the ordinary world. Arguably, this interface or intercommunication is brought into effect by the existential bond illustrated by the synergy between hyle and morphe, the two principles of the Aristotelian-Scholastic system, called hylemorphism. One extraordinary passage – namely, the extended simile that comprises v. 9-24 of Cant V, one of March’s earliest poems – may be taken as an illustration of how the transcendent, idealized lover perfects the vivencia of the poet’s persona in much the same fashion as morphe actualizes the potential inherent in hyle and thereby brings hyle into full existence.21 Evidently, Ausiàs March envisages the process of literalization in terms of the symbiosis “between the transcendental ideal of the troubadouresque ‘saint of love’ and its immanent counterpart, the flesh-and-blood individual, who strives to transform suffering into an instrument of perfectibility.”22

  • 23 W.R. Cook and R.B. Herzman, The Medieval World View: An Introduction, New York, Oxford University (...)
  • 24 Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs March’s Imitatio Christi op. cit., p. 432.

12The hylemorphic structuralism evinced in Cant V involves the process of conversion, which we have listed as the fourth characteristic of Ausiàs March’s esthetic. In Cant V conversion is presented in the radical sense in which the term becomes associated with a key motif introduced by March himself: the motif of the “volum / d’aquell saber que sens amor no dura” (“the volume of that wisdom that does not last without love”) (v. 19-20). William R. Cook, Ronald B. Herzman, and John Freccero dwell upon the all-important role of the “book” as initially manifested in the topic of the conversion in Augustine’s Confessions and eventually parodied in the episode of Francesca and Paolo in Dante’s Inferno (5.73-142).23 March, as one may expect, evolves his own ingenious notion of the book or “volum” and, thus, evokes the wide context of the Christological analogy. March, in other words, conceives conversion as imitatio Christi on two fronts: on the one hand, he presents the earthly lover – the traditional mártir de amor portrayed in the canciones and kindred compositions – in communion with the suffering Christ; on the other hand, the Valencian poet intuits in the life-text a reflection of the primordial “Word” as announced in the prologue of St. John’s Gospel.24

The Heirs of Ausiàs March

  • 25 K. Mcnerney, The Influence of Ausiàs March on Early Golden Age Castilian Poetry, Amsterdam, Rodopi (...)
  • 26 M. De Riquer, Història de la literatura catalana 3, p. 43-48.
  • 27 Ibid., p. 43.
  • 28 Ibid., p. 35-43. Following are the page references for each autor in M. de Riquer’s Història, vol. (...)

13There is considerable evidence that attests to the centrality of March’s position, manifested especially in the powerful sway of his influence upon the likes of Garcilaso de la Vega, Gutierre de Cetina, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, among others – in short the luminaries of the Spanish Renaissance and siglo de oro.25 It is fair to say that one area of March’s influence that calls for more attention than it has received pertains to the bequeathal of March’s text of subjectivity to a group of writers close to home – those that flourished in Barcelona and Valencia in the second half of the fifteenth century. The group includes a number of Catalans, such as Francesc Alegre (Somni de Francesc Alegre recitant lo procés d’una qüestió enamorada), Pere Joan Ferrer (Pensament fet per Mossèn Pere Joan Ferrer), Romeu Llull (Lo despropriament d’amor), Francesc Moner (La noche), Bernat Hug de Rocabertí (La glòria d’amor), Pere Torroella (Tant mon voler). There are, also, notable Valencians, such as Francesc Carrós Pardo de la Casta (Regoneixença i moral consideració contra les persuasions, vicis i forces d’amor), El Comendador Escrivá (Querella ante el Dios de Amor), and Joan Roís de Corella (Tragèdia de Caldesa). They are March’s younger contemporaries, who came of age in the course of the first two decades immediately following the poet’s death. The aforegoing list may be expanded to include the name of Lluís de Vilarrasa, himself, in all probability, a Valencian, coetaneous or slightly older than March.26 This does not impede his being one of March’s most accomplished followers.27 Worthy of mention is, also, Francesc Ferrer, author of Lo conhort, whom Riquer finds difficult to identify.28

14The broad intertextual orientation of these authors allows them an impressive breadth of vision and depth of insight. Evidently, they learned from Ausiàs March with great success the lesson of “syncretic lyricism.” There can be little doubt that, among these accomplished masters of the intertext, special recognition must be accorded to Fra Francesc Moner for his distinguished emulation of March’s esthetic of solitude and subjectivity.

  • 29 For a biographical sketch of Moner see my Introducció, Obres catalanes by Francesc Moner, ed. Pete (...)
  • 30 The invaluable biographical sketch provided by a Miquel Berenguer de Barutell, who identifies hims (...)

15A Catalan to the marrow of his bones, Fra Francesc Moner was born in Perpignan in late 1462 or early 1463.29 His short, eventful life is reflected in the career of a gifted writer, who became engaged in a variety of services at the royal court, in the palaces of the aristocracy, and in the armed forced both on land and at sea until he decided to take the monastic vows. At a very young age he served as a page at the court of John II of Aragon, father of Ferdinand, better known as Fernando el Católico, husband of Isabel of Castile. While still a teenager, Moner spent some two years in France in the entourage of an unidentified nobleman of that country. In his early twenties, Moner, who had enlisted in the military around 1481, participated in the war against Granada. In 1485 or thereabouts, he entered a period of intense literary activity as he took up residence in Barcelona in the household of his Maecenas, Joan Ramon Folch, Duke of Cardona. Moner’s career flourished despite a rather problematic relationship with a woman, who proved to be the obsession of his life. The crisis, psychological and otherwise, precipitated by this unfortunate affair, led the author to join the religious community of the Observancia, the most rigorous branch of the Franciscan order. The period Moner spent in the monastery first in Lleida and later in Barcelona lasted no more than one year – the last of his life.30

  • 31 Following is the entire first stanza, which contains the memorable verses in question:
    – Señora, po (...)

16Harking back to Moner’s distinctive achievement, we may assert that our Fra Francesc, while following in Ausiàs March’s footsteps, developed his own mimetic technique and concomitant rhetoric, emblematic of what he calls “letras matizadas del sentido” (“letters nuanced with sense and sentiment”). This striking phrase, which occurs in the exordium of a long poem, written in Castilian under the title of Sepoltura d’amor, refers to a literary text (“letras”), the special nature of which is determined by two factors: first, the nuances (that is, the multiplicity and variability of tones), inherent in the operation of matizar; second, the ambiguousness of the term sentido, which encompasses a wide field of signification ranging from the notion of sense to that of sentiment. This means that Moner strives for a poetic composition, in which intellective and emotive components coexist in a delicate balance and in a mutual complementarity that, to put it in metaphorical terms, calls to mind the synergy operating in a chemical reaction.31

17Moner strives for a poetic expression that may well turn out to be a fair match for Ausiàs March’s rhetoric of the here and now. The esthetic principle operative in “letras matizadas del sentido” covers a lot of ground: it informs practically Moner’s entire œuvre. More often than not it may manifest itself in the compulsion toward the rhetoric of reasoning through methodic exposition in counterbalance with the animus of the debate. This blend of reason and emotion is documented in La noche (see especially l. 255-331; TMPW 103-108) and in most of Moner’s short prose compositions, written some in Castilian (the two glosas) and some in Catalan (the ten Cartes a l’amada, the glosa known as Retrets a l’amada, and the Comiat).

18Styled as a worthy token of Moner’s emotive ratiocination, Carta IV provides, from among Moner’s short compositions in prose, a suitable base for analysis especially in comparison with kindred pieces by other authors. A quotation here in full of the carta will make the text conveniently available for precise references. The amatory epistle reads as follows:

  • 32 See Oc 102-103.

La vista de vostra merçè, esta nit me desermà l’entendre, perquè la voluntat posà tota ma pobre cosa en rebolta.
Aprés, nunca he cessat pensar en com és veritat qu⋅ és major repòs amar que ésser amat. Y en asò no sols m’aporta la querella ser justa, mas també perquè vull defendre l’estat en què tota ma vida ⋅m só criat. Moltes rahons me són parcials, mas en una sola me assole, y és aquesta: ningú ama sens delit, ni ningú se delita sens amor. Lo que no ama y és amat, ninguna cosa pot posehir que molt stim, perquè, no amant, no⋅s delita. Lo que ama y no és amat, amant se delita; y per bé que no posehesca lo voler de qui ama, posehex la conexensa que l’obliga, ab la qual aleuge sos mals. Y lo que no ama y és amat, la conexensa que té de qui no ama no li fa ningú bé; y lo cor gentil, per bé que no sia amat, se delita més en contemplar les perfeccions de qui ama, que no fa en pensar les de si mateix la hora que creu que per elles és amat.
Y per yo millor entendre-u, dó a mi mateix per exemple, que fa jura a vostra merçè tres anys m’à durat. Que si tot lo món me volgués bé, y[o] a sa requesta no m’i girara, sols per no destorbar-me de amar una que nunca m volgué ni may me féu merçès.
Y en son servey é sentit infern y, també, paraýs terrenal; y vuy en lo de vostra merçè só estat en purgatori, y gloriós fins al tretzèn cel, que faria fi.32
(“This evening, the sight of you, my Lady, unsettled my mind, as my desire put this wretched thing that I am in great turmoil.
Ever since, I have not stopped thinking that loving brings much more peace than does being loved. The reason I say this is because my grievance is justified and because I want to speak in defense of the way I am, which throughout my life has remained true to the way I have been brought up. Although there are several points that could be adduced in my favor, I will concentrate on only one. It is this: no one loves without pleasure, and no one feels pleasure without love. Whoever does not love but is loved cannot feel a great affection for anything he possesses because, if he does not love, he cannot find satisfaction with anything. Whoever does love but is not loved is delighted in simply being in love. That is to say: even though such a lover cannot lay claim to the sympathetic will of the beloved, he is well aware of the beloved’s obligation. That awareness soothes the lover’s pains. As for the person that does not love but is loved, the self-awareness of an individual that does not love does not do that individual any good. Indeed, a true lover, faithful at heart [cor gentil], unloved though he may be, experiences more joy in contemplating the virtues of his beloved than in thinking about his own merit or in believing that he is being loved because of his just deserts.
As I try to gain a better understanding of all this, I offer my own case as an example and swear to you, my Lady, that I have endured in this condition for three long years. I can tell you that, even if all the people on this Earth would show their affection to me, I would pay no attention lest I be distracted from loving a woman that has never requited my love nor shown me any consideration.
In serving her I have suffered the tortures of Hell and, at times, enjoyed the bliss of Earthly Paradise. My Lady, today, while in your service, I have been in Purgatory and, then, in glory, as high as in Thirteenth Heaven! Oh, how I wish that it would end that way!”).

19Clearly, the subjective tone of this wholehearted confession, is rife with compulsive explanation (“moltes rahons me són parcials...”) and cathartic complaints (“m’aporta la querella ser justa”). Here we are regaled with an unusual if not unique version in prose of the most impressive traits of Ausiàs March’s cants – especially, as we have had occasion to point out, the kaleidoscopic exhibition of egocentrism, explored by Sobrer and Zimmermann, and the protean rhetoric of “l’aquí i ara,” deftly analyzed by Archer. In the first sentence of Carta IV, the expression “me desermà l’entendre,” an epitome of the entire letter, may be perceived as an echo of “e ja en mi altlerat és l’arbitre” (“discernment now in me is out of order”) (v. 104 of March’s Cant CV). As an emblematic embodiment of Moner’s text of interiority, Carta IV presupposes an introspective penchant and a thrust toward an immediate witnessing of experience – an empirical moment-to-moment self-analysis, which in Moner’s as well as in March’s outlook, leads to apprehend the impact of authenticity.

  • 33 For yet another telling example we may cite the entire second stanza of the Bendir.
    Com de vós me f (...)

20Mutatis mutandis, it would not be far-fetched to discern a basis for an essential parallelism between the engrossing sophistry of Moner’s Carta IV and Shakespeare’s masterful passage that contains the self-centered ratiocination of Hamlet’s famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy. In both texts a contorted diction concretizes a conflicted state of mind. Both texts reflect a nightmarish mood that foreshadows, in turn, a tragic mode. The analogy with the most exemplary of Shakespearean passages is adduced here in an effort to underscore the dramatic impact and theatrical potential – in short, the exemplary qualities of Moner’s textuality. A further probing into these qualities within and beyond the boundaries of the monologue reveals in Moner’s language, especially in the context of a dialogic modality, some close affinities with Ausiàs March’s quintessential rhetoric. The aforementioned exordium of Sepoltura d’amor, for instance, and numerous similar passages throughout Moner’s production that lend themselves handily to dramatic recitation show, no less dramatically than do March’s lyrics, repeated indications of the revitalization of common everyday speech. Witness the expressions “y pues la cosa va ansí” and “sól’os demando este sí” in the introductory verses of Sepoltura d’amor, and “mas la cosa està en son lloch” (‘things are the way they should be’) in the first stanza of Bendir de dones, the longest of Moner’s Catalan poems.33

21There is plenty of evidence, also, that toward that very effect, Moner tones down to a considerable extent the indices of intertextuality that his cohorts – the likes of Francesc Alegre, Francesc Carrós, Hug de Rocabertí, Pere Torroella, not to mention Roís de Corella – display exuberantly for their own purpose. Antonio Cortijo Ocaña is well aware of this type of eye-catching exhibition in one of the chief exponents of the intertext:

  • 34 Cortijo Ocaña, La evolución genérica de la ficción sentimental de los siglos xv y xvi, London, Tam (...)

Alegre attempts to captivate his readers by means of a complex network of intertextual connections that establish the kinship of his text with a wide variety of literary genres... By the same token, an elaborate style, heavily rhetorical, on occasion quite obscure, contributes to create the baroque structure of the composition and fashions the organism of an intricate narrative that reminds us of the draps [tapestries] mentioned in the vision... (My translation)34

  • 35 Di Girolamo, Ausiàs March and the Troubadour Poetic Code, op. cit., p. 236.

22In attenuating the high level of complexity underscored by Cortijo Ocaña – the “complicada red de relaciones,” the “estilo retórico y complicado,” the “complicada organización” we have just referred to – Moner, doubtless, follows in Ausiàs March’s footsteps just as he does in deviating sharply from that “semantic hypertrophy” that Ausiàs March finds objectionable in the troubadours.35

23Thus, March’s inspiration motivates in Moner’s œuvre a streamlining of style, which conditions, in turn, the invention of the inner theater of the psyche. Moner’s idea of a theater – his concept of theatricality – stems from his intuition of a stage-worthy psychic space and soulful place. What may be advanced as Moner’s quintessential theatrical performance takes place, characteristically, within the realm of the allegory. A case in point is a prose work, written in Castilian, entitled La noche, which happens to be Moner’s longest composition. An efficient approach to La noche is through a review of some memorable moments, which deliver at face value the impact of a representation on the stage. The first passage that begs for attention is of a reflective, mournful nature. It marks the inception of a startling transition from the openness of a familiar landscape – that of the Catalan hinterland – to the depressing interiority of a strange, gloomy castle. Let us hear firsthand the woes of a star-crossed lover if there ever lived one:

  • 36 La noche, l. 39-60; TMPW 75-76.

Poco tardaron a moverse en mi alma los pensamientos tristes como enxambre en colmena. El coraçón rompía de apretado. Yo m’esforçava por no llorar, teniendo malicia que mi dolor como los otros comunes se quexasse, mas no pudo ser que las amargas lágrimas no sobreveniessen por su camino vezado.
Quería la passión dar vozes, pues de justa querella tenía sobra; pero el callar para mý era más encaresser porque dava lugar al pensar y tanbién porque cualquiera razón era falta, por lastimera que fuesse. Es syerto que la palabra, liviana o de peso, me diera alyvio. Mas la pena del enmudesser se vengava de mí mesmo, my mayor enemigo; y esto me hazía querer bien a mi mal.36
(“It was not long before sad thoughts began to stir within my mind as would a swarm in a beehive. My heart was about to break under such a great stress. I made every effort not to weep, averse as I was to the idea that I should vent my grief through the usual complaints. I could not, however, refrain from shedding tears, as I often do.
My passion needed a good loud cry: it had more than enough justification for that. In my case, however, silence would have been more appropriate for it would have given me a chance to reflect. Besides, any lamentation on my part, no matter how pitiful, would do me no good. To be sure, any word, whether softly or loudly uttered, would soothe my pain. This notwithstanding, the strain from having to keep silent took its revenge on me and made me fall in love with my malady. I was, indeed, my own worst enemy.”)

24Here the reflections of the protagonist – the author’s alter ego – consist of a string of lamentations that emanate from a mind at war with itself. The afflicted lover delves into a disconcerting psychomachia that is being waged between, on the one hand, the natural inclination to vent one’s passion in weeping spells and, on the other hand, a perverse masochistic compulsion to repress any ostentation, cathartic as it may be, of sorrow. Illustrative of this unwholesome condition are the lover’s self-conscious musings, such as the ones revealed in a confessionary tone straight out of the pit of despondency.

25As for the theatrical impact that struck our attention to begin with, the passage conveys the dynamism of a forceful preter-rational strain. This expressionistic verve, quite proper to the letras matizadas, involves, to be sure, the exclusion of the “semantic hypertrophy,” rejected, as we have seen, by Ausiàs March. That same property of the letras does not exclude, however – on the contrary, it stresses – the hyper-ratiocination of the conceit, that is, the obsessive mulling over the turns and counterturns of the psychological turmoil. From a strictly theatrical perspective, then, the hyper-ratiocination of those letras projects itself on the stage as a kind of Brechtian gestus of despair and alienation or, again with all due consideration of mutatis mutandis, as a sort of Hamletian vacillation of sic et non, “to be or not to be.”

26The most eloquent prima facie evidence of the theatrical constitution or viability of La noche resides, without doubt, in the presentation of the allegorical personages. These are paraded by the protagonist, in the function of a first-person narrator, at significant junctures of the plot; and the parade is turned into a visual event – a veritable spectacle in the full sense of the term – thanks to the graphic description of those specific details – the colorful apparel, the gestures, expressions, movements – that have all the makings of a stage direction. For one appropriate example of these impressive apparitions, we may turn our attention to the protagonist’s encounter with Costumbre (Lady Custom), the first denizen of the castle he happens to meet. Here is how the episode is vividly brought to life before our very eyes:

  • 37 La noche, l. 132-143; TMPW 88-92.

En esto vi que me havía abierto la puerta una donzella moça y hermosa en cabellos rubios y crespos. Trahía vestido un brial de terciopelo verde, broslado alrededor d’unas luzérnigas muy naturales y de letras que dezían:
Quando el sol de la doctrina
falta en los grandes y grey,
yo soy tenida por ley.
No trahía otra cosa encima. Descobría los pechos toda desbrochada. Eran tan lindos qu’era maravilla. Vi que no me hablava sino que se reýa.37
(“Suddenly I saw the person that had opened the door: a beautiful young damsel with curly blond hair, clad in a gown of green velvet, showing embroidered here and there, fireflies, which looked so true to life, and some verses that read:
When the sun of doctrine
does not shine on rulers and common folk,
I am considered law.
She did not wear anything else. She exhibited her breasts beneath her unclasped gown. So splendid were they – a great wonder, indeed! She did not speak to me, but I noticed that she was smiling all the while.”)

27No less evocative of a full-fledged mise en scène is, in all its visual appeal, the apparition of Esperanza (Lady Hope), eighth personage (after Costumbre, Amor, Odio, Deseo, Aborrecimiento, Deleite, Tristeza) to come out, as do all her cohorts from their respective chambers, and greet the distressed lover.

The Auto de Amores

  • 38 See Peter Cocozzella, The Theatrics of the Auto de amores in the Tragicomedia called Celestina, in (...)

28In tracing the background of Moner’s text we perceive at a glance its affiliation with Ausiàs March’s artistic enterprise in general and with that poet’s subjective orientation in particular. What we notice, also, is Moner’s deft assimilation of a variety of factors: those derived from March’s esthetic of subjectivity and from other sources. Most importantly, Moner fashions his thoroughly assimilated intertextual compound into a theatrical modality, an eminent specimen of which turns out to be, precisely, Moner’s La noche. In fact, there is every reason to believe that La noche is one of the main exemplars of a little known and practically forgotten theatrical genre, for which some critics have proposed the label of “auto de amores.”38

29A detailed study of Moner’s La noche would be out of the question here. Suffice it to point out, for the time being, that La noche illustrates the essential qualities of the auto de amores – namely, the intensity of a compendium, the focus of subjectivity, and the intention of a dramatic-theatrical composition. As a congenital trait, the compendium confers to the auto – especially at the stage of evolution in which the genre reaches its full development – the characteristics of an icon of the love-centered literature in vogue in the Catalan and Castilian domains during the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. In fact, La noche, as the auto de amores par excellence, conforms to an esthetic of multum in parvo – it captures, that is, within a distinctive compact structure, a semiotic realm that encompasses rational, emotional, and preter-rational modes of expression and representation. The focus we have just mentioned as the second characteristic of the auto is an index of the transition from the text of solitude to that of subjectivity – a transition brought about, as we have seen, in the admirable lyricism of Ausiàs March and, subsequently, in multifarious compositions by Catalan and Valencian authors of March’s school during the second half of the fifteenth century. Evidently, among these authors Moner deserves special credit for creating and developing the third characteristic mentioned above – that of dramatic dynamism (vis dramatica) and theatricality. In short, it may be argued that in La noche Moner puts on stage the ars poetica of “letras matizadas del sentido” – écriture, that is, as signifier imbued with intellective and emotive communicability. By the same token we may add that the auto de amores enacted in La noche presents a theatrical version of the esthetic that emanates, ultimately, from Ausiàs March’s ingenious elaboration of the intertext.

An Illustration as Evidence

  • 39 For a description of the editio, designated as A, see Peter Cocozzella, Introducció 86-90, and Int (...)

30In support of the presentation of Moner’s La noche as auto de amores, one piece of evidence is of the utmost significance. The evidence consists of the large woodcut illustration that occupies the entire fol A2v, situated immediately before the text of La noche in the editio princeps of Moner’s works.39 Doubtless, the engraving refers to the castle, within which the allegorical action of La noche takes place. The following passage excerpted from the text of La noche describes the essential features of that castle:

  • 40 La noche, l. 101-6; TMPW 82-85.

Estonces me vi delante una maraviloza fortaleza en una montaya muy alta, pero sin padrastro. Tenía barrera y cava ancha y honda a quatro anglos hecha, y a cada uno de ellos, un cubo. En el cuerpo del castillo, en un lado, la torre d’omenage.40
(“At that moment I found myself in front of a wondrous fortress. Though situated quite high on a hilltop, the fortress had no rampart. It had a barrier and a wide deep moat, structured with four corners, a tower surmounting each of these. The watchtower stood, off to one side, inside the walls.”)

  • 41 La noche, l. 111-3; TMPW 86.

31Allowing for some minor discrepancies attributable to the technical side of the preparation and usage of the woodcut, there is a substantial correspondence between the text quoted here and its pictorial correlative (see the illustration). The picture accounts for the barrier (barrera), the moat (cava), the four towers situated at the corresponding corners (cubos), and the keep (torre de homenaje). Visible are, also, the burning sticks in the patio, a detail that mirrors the written description: “púseme dentro en el patio, en medio del qual ardía un fuego de muy grandes llamas” (“I stepped into the courtyard, at the center of which there was a bonfire bursting into huge flames”).41 In addition, the narrator tells us that

  • 42 La noche, l. 120-3; TMPW 86-87.

Lleguéme más al fuego y vi qu’era de tea. Tomé un tizón entra muchos y con su lumbre fuy por todo el patio hasta tanto que llegué en una portesuela cerrada.42
(“I drew closer to the fire and noticed that it came from resinous wood. I picked up one of the many burning sticks and, guided by its light, walked across the courtyard until I came to a little door, which was locked.”)

  • 43 La noche, l. 160-163; TMPW 93.

32In the light of this confession, the male figure we see holding a stick in his hand, as he is represented in the woodcut, does not constitute any surprise. Obviously, this is a representation of the protagonist who explains that “puestos los ojos en tierra, entré por la puerta, la tea ardiendo en la mano, y vime al pie d’una scalera cubierta que venía rodeando” (“torch in hand, with downcast eyes, I crossed the threshold and found myself at the foot of a staircase that went up in the shape of a spiral”).43 It is not hard to see that the engraver takes good care to translate the spiral staircase into a visual image in the area right in front of the torch-bearing figure.

  • 44 For the remaining significant elements included in the grabado (especially the eagle and the sun) (...)

33So much for the parallelism perceivable in some specific features through a comparison between two media: the verbal (the text of La noche) and the visual (the woodcut engraving or, to use the Spanish term, the grabado). What bears concentrating upon is the primary function of that grabado as indicator of a dramatic impact. What impresses us most about the woodcut is its pointedness in recapturing at one glance, with the efficacy of a snapshot, the quintessential dynamism that reverberates throughout the text of La noche. All in all, the grabado emblematizes the plot by demarcating two contrasting but complementary fields of action. These may be localized as distinct areas of a stage. The foreground is the locus of the dialogue, epitomized by the countenance, gestures, and overall demeanor of the two central personages: the author’s persona, engaged in conversation with the comely maiden, recognizable as Costumbre (“Lady Custom”). The background, by contrast, is the space of the upward movement, expressed by the male figure, another representation of the protagonist, poised to walk up the spiral staircase.44

  • 45 Peter Cocozzella, The Theatrics of the Auto de Amores, op. cit., p. 96.

34Thus, the grabado helps us identify and explore the topography of a stage, in which the plot of La noche may be articulated effectively in its two overarching dimensions. On the one hand, we witness the unfolding of a dialogue, which turns out to be a monodiálogo of sorts à la Unamuno: the author’s persona confronts his conflicted self, projected onto the allegorical passions the protagonist meets on his walk up the staircase. For all intents and purposes the damsel of the grabado stands for all those allegorizations (eleven in all). On the other hand, we are given to contemplate the protagonist’s compulsive drive to rise above the infernal regions of his lovelorn psyche. The ultimate frustration of the protagonist’s efforts and the catastrophe made explicit in the denouement of La noche may be surmised by what, on another occasion, I call the “very significant, if not the most significant, spatial determinant in La noche... symbolized, in the grabado, by the position and concomitant attitude of the stair climber and the eagle with respect to each other.”45

  • 46 ID., “Roques and Pageantry;” Massip, “Topography and Stagecraft in Tirant lo Blanc;” Joan Oleza Si (...)
  • 47 “Topography and Stagecraft in Tirant lo Blanc” 88.

35If, in our analysis of the grabado, we shift our attention from the topography of the stage to the obvious overall iconography of the castle we are met with countless theatrical implications. The “maraviloza fortaleza” that provides, in Shakespeare’s terms, a “local habitation and a name” for the allegorical vision of La noche brings to mind, unmistakably, the no less imposing massive castillos and rocas (castells and roques in Catalan) that became a sine qua non in the elaborate religious and civic celebrations, widespread throughout the Castilian and Catalan domains during the late Middle Ages and particularly in Moner’s lifetime. Critics have shown special interest in how festivities of this nature are reflected in the glittering episode of the royal wedding (the English king and the French princess), recounted in chaps. 41-55 of Tirant lo Blanc, the nonpareil novel by Joanot Martorell and Martí Joan de Galba.46 Lest there be any doubt concerning the close correspondence between fictionalized account and historical fact, Francesc Massip concentrates on the castle of Love (roca de Amor), minutely described in chapter 53 of Tirant, and adduces abundant evidence to demonstrate that the mechanical devices built in that roca are not any different from the ones “commissioned by the royal house of Aragon in order to celebrate the coronation of Martí l’Humà in 1399 and of Ferran d’Antequera in 1414.”47

  • 48 The Medieval Theater in Castile, Binghamton, NY, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996, (...)
  • 49 Peter Cocozzella, Introducción Poemas menores by Francisco Moner 1-163 (7). For a complete descrip (...)
  • 50 Teresa Ferrer Valls, “El espectáculo profano en la edad media: espacio escénico y escenografía,” i (...)

36Congruent with mounting evidence is, then, the deduction that Moner’s fertile imagination derived inspiration from the pageantry sponsored by the church and the court on various occasions. Take, for instance, the Corpus Christi processions, replete with miscellaneous theatrical performances, which, as Charlotte Stern shows, were prevalent no less in Spain than they were in England and France.48 Of course, Moner had every opportunity to witness these processions and, in all probability, saw the spectacular display accompanying the marriage of the King of Naples with Juana, daughter of Juan II de Aragón, in Barcelona on 28 July, 1477.49 Indeed, judging from contemporary descriptions, the latter event does not pale by comparison with the chivalric splendor evoked by the ingenious pen of a Martorell or a Galba. Some internal evidence harvested from Bendir de dones, Moner’s longest Catalan poem, and Momería, one of his shortest Castilian pieces of an unquestionable theatrical nature, indicates the availability to Moner of the same type of venue and staging apparatus documented in Valencia in 1373, and in Zaragoza in 1414.50 In view of the particular circumstances of Moner’s career, it becomes evident that his idea of a theater is conceived in terms of an urban or palatial setting. We instinctly think of places such as the Plaça del Rei in Barcelona or some large hall in the royal palace or the mansion of the Cardonas, Moner’s patrons.

  • 51 “Una quexa ante el Dios de Amor” 268.

37In order to round out discussion of the circumstances of Moner’s interest and probable involvement in the theater, we will bear in mind the sponsorship that worthy members of the highest ranks of the aristocracy provided, according to Sirera, not only in Valencia (the likes of the Condes de Oliva, the Duques de Gandía, the Duques de Calabria) but also in Rome (the Borja papacy) and Naples (the Aragonese dynasty).51 There is no reason to doubt that Moner as well as other authors still to be identified enjoyed in Barcelona the same level of patronage common in the cultural centers mentioned by Sirera.

Conclusion

38A quick review of a process, which Theodore L. Kassier calls “literalization,” has broached a full-fledged discussion on the “Hispanic intertext of subjectivity.” The term “intertext” encompasses the notion of a literary construct that stems from multiple sources. The designation of “Hispanic” serves to contextualize the complex and multifarious entity within specific attributes of authorship and the concomitant coordinates of time and place. Thus, such intertext becomes associated with the creativity of not only Ausiàs March, the Valencian poet worthy of international renown, but also a sizeable group of outstanding authors, in many respects March’s heirs, who flourished in Valencia and Barcelona (or in the surroundings of these cultural centers) during the second half of the fifteenth century.

  • 52 I borrow the term “mesianismo” from Juan Bautista Avalle-Arce, who provides the following explanat (...)

39The term “Hispanic” is not amiss as indication of, also, a particularly revealing dimension of international projection and outreach. In the first place, the authors in question, by following in the footsteps of the great bard from Valencia, turned out to be notable masters of the intertext in their own right. Secondly, they became exponents of an international orientation by virtue of their wholehearted response to the momentous historical circumstance in which they lived. Of no mean significance is the fact that the lives of these talented writers coincided with the surging tide of mesianismo – that peculiar brand of Manifest Destiny fomented by the ultra nationalistic vision of Fernando de Aragón and Isabel de Castilla.52 Motivated by the compelling spirit of mesianismo, the large majority of these distinguished heirs of Ausiàs March managed to gain utmost proficiency in not only their native Catalan (or the Valencian brand thereof) but also the Castilian language, which was gaining undisputed ascendancy, prestige, and officialdom at a national and global scale.

40The extraordinary significance of the historical circumstance does not detract in any way from the relevance of Ausiàs March’s personal contribution to the intertext of subjectivity – precisely the type of subjectivity that has been discussed and analyzed here. In retrospect we notice that upon the intertext Ausiàs March brings to bear a radical shift from the process of literalization explored by Kassier to a paradigm of concretization or objectification. What March concretizes and objectifies, ultimately, is the amalgamation of multifarious concerns – linguistic, rhetorical, psychological, metaphysical, theological in nature – into a “life-text,” emblematic of a revolutionary notion of a mimesis of experience as a minute-by-minute unfolding of a happening. March, in other words, capitalizes, as Archer points out, on the phenomenology of the event in the here and now.

41March, we realize, brings to his successors – particularly the masters of the intertext we have been able to identify – plenty of grist for their own esthetic mills. We have called special attention to the case of Fra Francesc Moner, who developed an ingenious mimesis of what he called “letras matizadas del sentido.” This allowed him to assimilate March’s various esthetic concerns and condense them into a primordial plot, which articulates two supreme dynamics. These pertain, respectively, to the psychological conflict (the psychomachia) and to the fervent aspiration toward the soaring flight of contemplation (the mystical élan), frustrated though that aspiration turns out to be.

42As a fit complement to the aforementioned plot Moner proposes, to his credit, the iconography of the castle and adapts it, in turn, to the topography of a stage. Thus, thanks to Moner, the Hispanic intertext of subjectivity comes to a viable theatrical epiphany. There is evidence to suggest that Moner in the company of a few other authors, such as Escrivá, Carrós, and Cota, was quite successful in devising the theatrics and stagecraft of the auto de amores. At last, one fact to be underscored has to do with the iconography of the castle conceived in conjunction with the auto in question. That conjunction would signal a turning point in the history of Spanish theater. It would constitute in itself documentary evidence of a major transformation: the castle commonly associated theretofore with public ceremonial would be envisaged at that point with an added dimension as the locus of the inner theater of the psyche. This major metamorphosis of castillos and rocas, the superspectacles in city squares and palatial halls, may well be a sign of the times – one telling index of the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Notes

1 Theodor L. Kassier, Cancionero Poetry and the Celestina: From Metaphor to Reality, in Hispanófila, 56, 1976, p. 1-28 (19). For a seminal discussion of the hipérbole sagrada, see M. R. Lida De Malkiel, La hipérbole sagrada en la poesía castellana del siglo xv, in Revista de Filología Hispánica, 8, 1946, p. 121-130.

2 Throughout this essay the following abbreviations are used for the works of Francesc Moner: A: The editio princeps of Francesc Moner’s works (see Peter Cocozzella, Introducció, Obres catalanes by Francesc Moner, ed. Peter Cocozzella [Els Nostres Clàssics, 100], Barcelona, Barcino, 1970, p. 86-90; and Introducción, Poemas menores, vol. 1 of Obras castellanas by Francesc Moner, ed. Peter Cocozzella, Hispanic Literature 2, Lewiston, NY, The Edwin Mellen Press, 1991, p. 65-69; Oc: Moner, Francesc. Obres catalanes, ed. Peter Cocozzella [Els Nostres Clàssics, 100], Barcelona, Barcino, 1970; 1 OC: Moner, Francesc. Poemas menores. Vol. 1 of Obras castellanas, ed. Peter Cocozzella, Lewiston, NY, The Edwin Mellen P, 199l; 2 OC: Moner, Francesc. Poemas mayores, vol. 2 of Obras castellanas, ed. Peter Cocozzella, Lewiston, NY, The Edwin Mellen P, 1991; TMPW: Moner, Francesc. The Two Major Prose Works of Francisco de Moner: A Critical Edition and Translation, ed. Peter Cocozzella, Diss. Saint Louis University, 1966).

3 Martí de Riquer provides the essential orientation on March’s life and works (Història de la literatura catalana, 3 vols., Barcelona, Ariel, 1964, 2, p. 471-568). For a sketch of the poet’s life especially in terms of his outstanding career and far-reaching influence, see R. Archer, The Pervasive Image: The Role of Analogy in the Poetry of Ausiàs March (Purdue University Monographs in Romance Languages, 17), Philadelphia, John Benjamins, 1985, p. 1-22 and Peter Cocozzella, Salient Trends in Ausiàs March Criticism: Toward a Holistic Approach, in Josep M. Solà-Solé (ed.), Proceedings of the First Catalan Symposium, New York, Peter Lang, 1992, p. 29-56. Without doubt, the most authoritative biography of Ausiàs March is found in Jaume Chiner Gimeno’s, Ausiàs March i la València del segle XV (1400-1459), València, Consell Valencià de Cultura, 1997. Very handy is the updated overview of March’s biography provided by Di Girolamo (Nota informativa / noticia biográfica), Páginas del cancionero, ed. Costanzo Di Girolamo, trans. José María Micó, Madrid, Pre-textos, 2004, p. 61-67. On the basis of recently discovered evidence, Chiner Gimeno proposes convincingly the year 1400 and the city of Valencia for March’s date and place of birth. Chiner Gimeno lays to rest the previous widely accepted belief that March was born in Gandia (a town in the vicinities of Valencia) in 1397 (1997, any March?, in R. Alemany Ferrer (ed.), Ausiàs March i el món cultural del segle XV, Alacant, Universitat d’Alacant, 1999, p. 13-43. See, also L. Sánchez Rodríguez and E. J. Nogueras Valdivieso (eds.), Ausiàs March y las literaturas de su época, Granada, Editorial Universidad de Granada, 2000; and G. Martin and M.-Cl. Zimmermann (eds.), Ausiàs March (1400-1459): premier poète en langue catalane (Publications du Séminaire d’Études médiévales hispaniques de l’Université de Paris, 13), Paris, Université de Paris, 2000.

4 R. Archer, The Pervasive Image, op. cit., p. IX.

5 “Una aproximació a March en set punts,” Seminari El gust per la lectura, Curs 1994-1995, Servei d’Ensenyament del Català, accessed 29 July 2006, http://www.xtec.es/ausias/ intro.htm; and Tradició i modernitat als segles xiv i xv: estudis de cultura literària i lectures d’Ausiàs March, Barcelona, Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 1993.

6 Ausiàs March and the Troubadour Poetic Code, in J. Gulsoy and Josep M. Solà-Solé (eds.), Catalan Studies (Estudis sobre el català) (Collecció Lacetània, 4), Barcelona, Hispam, 1977, p. 223-237.

7 La doble soledat d’Ausias March, Barcelona, Quaderns Crema, 1987.

8 Ausiàs March o l’emergència del jo, Barcelona, Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 1998.

9 “Ramon Llull and Catalan Tradition” [Keynote Address], Catalan Poetry Symposium (Poets House, New York, NY, 11 Feb. 2006).

10 For a concise explanation of this terminology see Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs and Garcilaso Revisited: Exploring Syncretic Lyricism, in S.S. Hintz (ed.), Essays in Honor of Josep M. Solà-Solé: Linguistic and Literary Relations of Catalan and Castilian, New York, Peter Lang, 1996, p. 219-234; ID., Ausiàs March, herald del Renaixement en Espanya, in R. Alemany Ferrer (ed.), Ausiàs March: textos i contextos (Biblioteca Sanchis Guarner, 37), Alacant, Universitat d’Alacant, Institut Interuniversitari de Filologia Catalana, 1997, p. 73-88; ID., Salient Trends in Ausiàs March Criticism: Toward a Holistic Approach, p. 36-47; ID., Trends of Syncretism in Castilian and Catalan Literatures of the Late Middle Ages: Ausiàs March and Other Exponents, in C.L. Miller (ed.), Acta VIII: Old and New in the Fifteenth Century, Binghamton: State University of New York at Binghamton/The Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1993, p. 93-110.

11 See Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs March’s ‘Encyclopaedic Form:’ Toward a Poetic of Syncretism, in B. Lawton and A.J. Tamburri (ed.), Romance Languages Annual 1989, West Lafayette, IN, Purdue Research Foundation, 1990, p. 399-408; J. Beer, B. Lawton and P. Hart (eds.), Ausiàs March’s Imitatio Christi: The Metaphysics of the Lover’s Passion, in Romance Languages Annual 1994, West Lafayette, IN, Purdue Research Foundation, 1995, p. 428-433.

12 Ausiàs March and the Troubadour Poetic Code, p. 236.

13 Aproximació a Ausiàs March, Barcelona, Empúries, 1996, p. 20.

14 Ibid., p. 17-22.

15 Ibid., p. 47.

16 For the text of this and other poems by Ausiàs March, see R. ARCHER, Ausiàs March, Obra completa, Barcelona, Barcanova, 1997.

17 Ibid., p. 89.

18 Ibid., p. 92.

19 For a comprehensive definition of yo and circunstancia, the well-known mutually complementary principles in Ortega y Gasset’s metaphysics, see J.-P. Borel, Raison et vie chez Ortega y Gasset, Neuchâtel, À la Baconnière, 1959, p. 37-76. J. M. Díez Taboada Vivencia y género literario en Espronceda y Bécquer, in J. M. Díez Taboada (ed.), Homenajes: Estudios de Filología Española, vol. 1, Madrid, Talleres Gráficos Romarga, 1964, p. 17-18 provides an enlightening discussion of Ortega y Gasset’s terminology together with Américo Castro’s notion of vivencia.

20 Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs March and the “Truth” of the Troubadours, in L. BADIA et al. (ed.), Studia in honorem Prof. M. de Riquer, Barcelona, Quaderns Crema, 1986, p. 111-132.

21 Id., Ausiàs March’s Imitatio Christi, op. cit., p. 428-429.

22 Ibid., p. 428. This hylemorphic formula is applicable, also, to the two motifs that Antonio Prieto, apropos of Juan Rodríguez del Padrón’s Siervo libre de amor (the prototypical novela sentimental) calls “caso normativo,” eminently exemplified in the heroic protagonist (the canonized Ardanlier), and “caso concreto,” embodied by el amador (Juan Rodríguez’s persona). A. Prieto, Introduction, Siervo libre de amor, by Juan Rodríguez del Padrón, (Clásicos Castalia, 66), Madrid, Castalia, 1976, p. 7-55; Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs March’s Imitatio Christi, op. cit., p. 429.

23 W.R. Cook and R.B. Herzman, The Medieval World View: An Introduction, New York, Oxford University Press, 1983, p. 97-98; J. Freccero, Dante: The Poetics of Conversion, ed. Rachel Jacoff, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1986.

24 Peter Cocozzella, Ausiàs March’s Imitatio Christi op. cit., p. 432.

25 K. Mcnerney, The Influence of Ausiàs March on Early Golden Age Castilian Poetry, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 1982, especially p. 114-119; M. De Riquer, Història de la literatura catalana 2, p. 558-568; Peter Cocozzella, Salient Trends in Ausiàs March Criticism: Toward a Holistic Approach, op. cit., p. 29-32). In Ausiàs and Garcilaso Revisited: Exploring Syncretic Lyricism, I undertake, as the title indicates, a one-to-one comparative study.

26 M. De Riquer, Història de la literatura catalana 3, p. 43-48.

27 Ibid., p. 43.

28 Ibid., p. 35-43. Following are the page references for each autor in M. de Riquer’s Història, vol. 3, Alegre, p. 249-252, Carrós, p. 246-249, Corella, p. 254-320, Escrivá, p. 359-362, Ferrer, p. 245-246, Llull, p. 195-204, Moner, p. 205-212, Rocabertí, p. 148-160, Torroella, p. 161-186. The study of many of these authors, though not all of them, is facilitated by the availability of critical editions. This is true for the works of Carrós, Francesc Ferrer, Escrivá, Llull, Moner, Rocabertí, Roís de Corella, Torroella, which have been edited, respectively, by José Reyes-Tudela (Las obras de Francesch Carroç Pardo de la Casta, Valencia, Albatros-Hispanófila, 1987), Jaume Auferil (Obra completa de Francesc Ferrer [Els Nostres Clàssics, 127], Barcelona, Editorial Barcino, 1989), Lázaro Carreter (Querella ante el Dios de Amor, in Teatro medieval, Madrid, Castalia, 1965, p. 207-225), Jaume Turró (Obra completa [de Romeu Llull] [Els Nostres Clàssics, 135], Barcelona, Barcino, 1996), Peter Cocozzella (Obres catalanes [de Francesc Moner] [Els Nostres Clàssics, 100], Barcelona, Barcino, 1970), H.C. HEATON (La Gloria d’Amor of Fra Rocabertí: A Catalan Vision-Poem of the 15th Century, New York, Columbia UP, 1916), Ramon Miquel y Planas (Obres de J. Roiç de Corella, Barcelona, Biblioteca Catalana, 1913), Pedro Bach y Rita (The Works of Pere Torroella, a Catalan Writer of the Fifteenth Century, New York, Instituto de las Españas en los Estados Unidos, 1930).

29 For a biographical sketch of Moner see my Introducció, Obres catalanes by Francesc Moner, ed. Peter Cocozzella (Els Nostres Clàssics, 100), Barcelona, Barcino, 1970, p. 9-28 and Introducción Poemas menores, vol. 1 of Obras castellanas by Francesc Moner, ed. Peter Cocozzella (Hispanic Literature, 2), Lewiston, NY, The Edwin Mellen Press, 1991, p. 3-38.

30 The invaluable biographical sketch provided by a Miquel Berenguer de Barutell, who identifies himself as Moner’s cousin, casts a shadow of suspicion on the author’s death. In referring to his cousin’s untimely demise at the age of twenty-nine, Barutell adds a laconic “no sin misterio” (“not without mystery”). Did Moner commit suicide? See Barutell, Dedicatòria-Prefaci, in Oc 229-232 (231).

31 Following is the entire first stanza, which contains the memorable verses in question:
– Señora, por que sepáys
vuestras palabras
pesadas
qué han podido,
es menester que leáys
estas letras matizadas
del sentido;
que con ellas acabáys.
Y pues la cosa va ansí,
que ya m’avéys consumido
sin porqué,
sól’os demando este sí:
que a los otros que an servido,
por mercé,
no los tratéys como a mí. (V. 1-14) (2 OC 131).
(“My Lady, if you want to know what your words, so burdensome, have accomplished, you only have to read these verses nuanced with feeling... and, then, you’re through! So, this is the way things have turned out: you’ve ruined my life for no reason at all. This time, I beg of you, say yes to my request: do not treat those others have courted you as harshly as you have treated me!”).

32 See Oc 102-103.

33 For yet another telling example we may cite the entire second stanza of the Bendir.
Com de vós me fuy partit
disapte, tart com sabeu,
los galls, cantant per delit,
senyalaven mija nit.
Yo passava per la Seu,
de la porta del Palau
fins a la plassa del Rey,
fatigat, pensant al clau
que m’à fet lo cor esclau
de congoxa sens remey. (Vv. 11-20) (Oc 180).
(“On Saturday last, when I took my leave from you – it was late, as you know – the cocks were crowing in sheer delight, announcing the stroke of midnight. I was walking, near the Cathedral, from the portal of the [Royal] Palace to Plaça del Rei. I felt weary, thinking of the spike that has enslaved my heart to a pain without remedy.”)
Here the language of the market place is successfully employed to recount habitual actions (the protagonist’s leave-taking from his ladylove and his nightly stroll), to evoke a familiar setting (the surroundings of the Cathedral in Barcelona), and to bemoan a heartache (a concrete reference to the sharp pangs of a tormented psyche). The point to be made is that, among the heirs of Ausiàs March, Moner does March himself one better in adapting revitalized language to the creation of a staging effect.

34 Cortijo Ocaña, La evolución genérica de la ficción sentimental de los siglos xv y xvi, London, Tamesis, p. 185.

35 Di Girolamo, Ausiàs March and the Troubadour Poetic Code, op. cit., p. 236.

36 La noche, l. 39-60; TMPW 75-76.

37 La noche, l. 132-143; TMPW 88-92.

38 See Peter Cocozzella, The Theatrics of the Auto de amores in the Tragicomedia called Celestina, in Celestinesca, 29, 2005, p. 71-143 (p. 74-75); and SIRERA, Una quexa ante el Dios de Amor... del Comendador Escrivá como ejemplo posible de los autos de amores, in Manuel Criado De Val (ed.), Literatura hispánica: Reyes Católicos y Descrubrimiento, Barcelona, Promociones y Publicaciones Universitarias, 1989, p. 259-269. For El Comendador Escrivá’s special role in the creation of an unusual dramatic genre, see my El Comendador Escrivá’s Legacy: The Valencian Auto de Amores of the Fifteenth Century, in Cincinnati Romance Review, 11, 1992, p. 10-25. All the while, I have explored a possible connection between these paragons of the auto de amores and the famous Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, better known as Celestina (From Lyricism to Drama: The Evolution of Fernando de Rojas’s Egocentric Subtext, in Celestinesca, 19.1-2, 1995, p. 71-92). Worthy of study are, moreover, the genetic links that may be traced through affinities perceivable between the auto and some texts of well established renown. Among these texts the following clearly stand out: the Tragèdia de Caldesa by Joan Roís de Corella, the theatrical performance on an Arthurian theme, described in chap. 202 of Tirant lo Blanc, the great novel by the Valencian writers Joanot Martorell and Martí Joan de Galba (Francesc MASSIP, Topography and Stagecraft in Tirant lo Blanc, in Peter Cocozzella (ed.), Mediaevalia, 22 [Mediaeval and Early-Renaissance Literature in Catalan], State University of New York at Binghamton, The Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 2000, p. 83-131, Egloga II by Garcilaso de la Vega, the episode of “las bodas de Camacho,” which occupies chaps. 19-22 of Don Quijote, pt. II (Peter Cocozzella, Roques and Pageantry: Artifici as a Function of Joanot Martorell’s Dramatic Text, in Josep M. Solà-Solé (ed.), Tirant lo Blanc: Text and Context. Proceedings of the Second Catalan Symposium, New York, Peter Lang, 1993, p. 19-37 (p. 30-33)).

39 For a description of the editio, designated as A, see Peter Cocozzella, Introducció 86-90, and Introducción, Poemas menores, vol. 1 of Obras castellanas by Francisco Moner, ed. Peter Cocozzella (Hispanic Literature, 2), Lewiston, NY, The Edwin Mellen Press, 1991, p. 65-69.

40 La noche, l. 101-6; TMPW 82-85.

41 La noche, l. 111-3; TMPW 86.

42 La noche, l. 120-3; TMPW 86-87.

43 La noche, l. 160-163; TMPW 93.

44 For the remaining significant elements included in the grabado (especially the eagle and the sun) see Peter Cocozzella, The Theatrics of the Auto de Amores, p. 90-91.

45 Peter Cocozzella, The Theatrics of the Auto de Amores, op. cit., p. 96.

46 ID., “Roques and Pageantry;” Massip, “Topography and Stagecraft in Tirant lo Blanc;” Joan Oleza Simó, Tirant lo Blanch y la ansiedad de ficción del caballero Martorell, in Beltrán, Canet and Sirera (eds.), Historias y ficciones, València, 1992, p. 323-335.

47 “Topography and Stagecraft in Tirant lo Blanc” 88.

48 The Medieval Theater in Castile, Binghamton, NY, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996, p. 21-22.

49 Peter Cocozzella, Introducción Poemas menores by Francisco Moner 1-163 (7). For a complete description of this memorable event, Agustín Durán y Sanpere and Pedro Voltes, Barcelona, divulgación histórica: textos radiados desde la emisora de “Radio Barcelona” 8 vols., Barcelona, Instituto Municipal de la Ciudad – Aymà, 1945-1960, 2, p. 55-60.

50 Teresa Ferrer Valls, “El espectáculo profano en la edad media: espacio escénico y escenografía,” in Historias y ficciones, ed. Canet and Sirera (Valencia, 1992) 313-4, and Massip 88-89. For a detailed exposition of the theatrical dimension of Bendir de dones, see Peter Cocozzella, “The Theatrics of the Auto de Amores 100-103. For a text of Moner’s Momería see 1 OC 154-157, and Teatro castellano de la edad media, ed. Ronald Surtz 145-149, Clásicos Taurus 13, Madrid, Taurus, 1992, p. 145-1499.

51 “Una quexa ante el Dios de Amor” 268.

52 I borrow the term “mesianismo” from Juan Bautista Avalle-Arce, who provides the following explanation:
In the final analysis, at the risk of oversimplification, I believe that, from the perspective of the history of religion, the fifteenth century in the Castilian domain may be divided into a period of the surge of the prophetic outlook (the reigns of Juan II and Enrique IV) and a period of the rise of the Messianic spirit (the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella). To be sure, I would be the first one to admit that the two orientations are inextricably linked. (My translation)
See Cartagena, poeta del Cancionero General, in Bolétin de la Real Academic Española, 47, 1967, p. 287-310 (307).

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