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The Emergence of Baroque Mentality and Its Cultural Impact on Western Europe after 1550 Author(s): Miroslav John

Hanak Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Spring, 1970), pp. 315-326 Published by: Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of The American Society for Aesthetics Stable URL: . Accessed: 25/09/2012 13:44
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and England some time after 1550. Calling tion into literary criticism was Heinrich the sorbonnards "sophists in baroco and Woelfflin. which accounts for Jacob Burckhardt." trac. namely. This new and alien contion from the continent of Europe."2 Vives may have well been in 1519 the first critic on record to use MENTALITY FROM DECAYthe word baroco in a pejorative sense. Italy. ING RENAISSANCE LIFE EXBut it is to Burckhardt that we owe B UN E R~ A N CE ] UBERANCE the redefinition of decaying Renaissance as baroque. bizarre.MIROSLAV JOHN HANAK The and Emergence Its of Baroque Impact on Mentality Western Cultural Europe after 1550 baralipton. especially in English-speaking continues to employ Renaissance forms but countries. France. and intended to show how the baroque asserted itself in five major areas of Western civilizagrotesque forms. the traditional classical concern for rich as a distorting phenomenon of the classibut contained expression were vehemently cally inclined Renaissance concept. Woelfflin suggested that the excesses of the florid architecture of the MIROSLAV JOHN HANAK is associate professor of Spanish and German at East Texas State Univerlate Renaissance period find a parallel sity. Germannerist exaggeration and distortion of many. Wellek further points out that such tion. This paper is of baroque as a style of lush. in Spain. Yugoslavia. one of the few true humanists Spain can boast.3 tion of Renaissance Exuberance" at the Fifth InThe idea of baroque as something unternational Congress of the Comparative Literature Association.1 Burckhardt seems to the fundamental distortion of the baroque have passed on to art historians the notion world view and aesthetics.tent stretches the inappropriate form to ing its introduction into art history to the point of explosion. in Belgrade. August naturally exaggerated thus became im1967. I shall endeavor to show that has had a short and THE TERM baroque baroque art and literature are a reflection controversial history in literary and art of a new and distinct world view which criticism. The pioneer of baroque's introduccriticized by Luis Vives. In an article published in 1946 loads them with an entirely different Rend Wellek called it a "recent importa. EMERGENCE OF BAROQUE . In his book Renaissance und Barock (1888). planted in the minds of most modemn I. He read a paper "The Baroque as Exaggerain sixteenth-century literature and music.

and knowledge.4 Master Eckhart's soul-divinizing "little spark. As he gradually finds the Catholic and then the Reformed Church less qualified to relieve his existential fears.6 In his Estudios sobre el barroco. of a premeditated and calculated originality. already discolored into the.. and some German critics. of enigmatic analogies.. They actually accept. G..7 I submit that this specific state of mind is the result of the decadence of the Renaissance spirit. He is ready to trade some of his mundane pleasures for the direct. senses. The result is a militant brand of political religiosity which sets up God as a powerful MIROSLAV JOHN HANAK liege of his followers rather than as a kind father of all mankind. the baroque as one of the more autochthonous expressions of their Volksgeist. He is willing to return the throne of universe to God as long as he can keep the gains his selfknowledge had made during the Renaissance. or refused altogether to recognize the new spiritual content of decadent Renaissance. of virtuosos endowed with an eroticism curiously obsessed with ruin and death. almost unanimously. the pejorative connotation of baroque is entirely too narrow and unjust. He believes to recognize in it a specifically religious element and the nucleus of the baroque experience which had been molded under the influence of Savonarola's exhortations . As an aesthetic and ethical trend filled with a totally new content. to the point of bursting them. and monstrously exaggerated. the Spaniards stand apart from both censure and non-recognition. which proceeds rather from speculation than from genuine religious faith. Helmut Hatzfeld identifies this desperate elation and overexuberance with the personality and work of the aging Michelangelo.. As usual. I believe that rather than a distortion of Renaissance realism the baroque is a spiritualization of the Renaissance lust for life.and which expresses in forms of Petrarchist and Neoplatonic tradition. Their presence is only important if it can be considered as symptomatic of a specific state of mind. Christian love. the Renaissance virtuoso begins to search for a deepening of his existential awareness. and literary documents attest to the emergence of a general atmosphere concerned with metaphysical problems and thus radically opposed to the chief preoccupation of the virtuoso. he expresses his ethical and religious concerns in a more spiritualized and exaggerated orgy of flesh calling to God to become eternal spirit.? Wellek also points out the necessity of abandoning attempts to define baroque in purely stylistic terms. Tracing individual influences oscillating between the five major areas examined here can be a misleading ex post facto evidence fabrication. Tired and frustrated by the exquisite orgy of flesh. but decadent only in terms of the classically inclined High Renaissance. an art of frightening dynamism involved in the observation of materiality wrapped up in conceits... illogical." which urged man simply to return to his heavenly Father. art treasures. Man insists on fuller participation in the cosmic becoming and seeks to obtain from God stronger guarantees of his individual eternity through a forced elation. mostly by scholars in English-speaking countries. which was life per se.. After 1550. Undeniably the opinions expressed by late sixteenth-century thinkers everywhere in Western and Cen- . fills with energy and vitality those nontoo-resistant molds. of symbolic allegorism. full of surprising incongruencies. historic events. R. the latter. The former opinion is usually held by Italian. strict sonnet form. French. He also begins to lose faith in his own unlimited perfectibility. he is even willing to sublimate his eroticism ad maiorem gloriam Dei. child-like faith of the Middle Ages. Hocke describes in Die Welt als Labyrinth this new religiosity as: a movement of visionaries. spirals into an orgiastic communion between the Soul-Bride and her Heavenly Bridegroom of the Spanish mystics.. They either applied the term baroque to all that they deemed irrational. the tragedy of sin and of eschatology and.316 critics of the traditional school subscribing to the principle of classical measure as sole criterion of real art.

by absorbing and assimilating the baroque tendencies of the Storm and Stress after 1786. The Germans. he ceases to be the conqueror-thinker who had wrought the Copernican revolution and discovered new continents. and between reason and the emotions. without commenting on its actual achievement. having allowed the triumph of high classicism after the accession of the Sun King in 1660. dating from about 1570. with the end of conquering matter and accomplishing that the finite appear as the infinite. wakefulness lapsing into dreams. It was however only Goethe's Klassik which was able.. to divert his efforts from mundane ends to an agonizing self-examination. an exorbitant heroism. and believing to have found it in eighteenthcentury neoclassicism.8 317 ism in the very same higher synthesis sought by the baroque poets and artists." n Werner Weisbach defines baroque in Der Barock als Kunst der Gegenreformation as a mysticism confused with eroticism. Warnke cites Donne as an example of such spiritualized eroticism. the unification of contraries in a superior unity. the abyss of insanity and . reaching the ultimate in naturalistic representation. and Englishmen followed suit belatedly. pure forms can guarantee the ultimate victory of the illusion over the terrifying chaos of becoming. Only Adelheid Beckman in her Motive und Formen der deutschen Lyrik des 17. expressing thus the life-experience of men who have found their worth and dignity. reveals a world view totally different from the meditative sadness of Sofonisba Anguissola's Portrait of a Young Monk. Baroque art has its raison d'etre in the never-ending struggle between flesh and spirit. the pride and aplomb of the Medici clan gives way to agonizing metaphysical doubt in the life-weary reflections of an anonymous penitent.Baroque Mentality and Its Cultural Impact tral Europe betray disillusionment with the execution of the magnificent plans for a higher mankind forged by the Renaissance. however unsuccessfully. to find true balance and universal- All of these authorities define the postulate and the goals of baroque elation. birth coalescing with death and immortality. calling him a parallel phenomenon to the baroque.. 1520.10l In his essay European Metaphysical Poetry Frank F. These two portraits are only a random sample of a radically changing artistic sensibility reflecting the revolution of values between 1500 and 1550. [who] accepted the proof that life is full of grandeur and abomination and who have found the haven of a fundamentally sane world. light fusing with darkness. an asceticism which embraces elements of cruelty. Only a refuge in the realm of eternal. the ideal pulsating in gross matter. painted by Sebastiano del Piombo c. Italians. Jahrhunderts declares the baroque art capable of "achieving." 12 This conclusion suggests a final and successful conciliation of the perpetually clashing contraries: life oscillating between reality and appearance. groping for the lost classical measure and restraint. the illusion of the stage becoming inseparable from everyday reality. When man becomes disillusioned with his own aspirations and tries. through an extreme effort. The portrait of the arrogant and bungling politician Clement VII. ubiquitous in Romance literatures. The French were evidently successful in fairly discrediting most of the baroque excesses. Wilhelm Pinder's study Der deutsche Barock sees this life-giving and destroying polarism "soaring to heretofore unknown heights of spiritualization. Within a time span of little more than a generation.1l The rehabilitation and acceptance of the term baroque hinge primarily on our acceptance of its major postulate: can the often forced permeation of flesh and spirit reach a synthesis truly more noble and real than either? Can the pleasure of perishable flesh be immortalized through the pulsations of the eternal spirit? It is true that the reaction to the decadence of Renaissance realism and vitalism was not limited to the baroque experiment with man's existential qualms.

and the kings of Spain. RISE AND FALL OF THE soil. THE EMPIRE. Tudors. By then. too. Between 1550-1600. After 1530. and city IN SPAIN. rebelling as the United Netherlands againt Philip II. the transition from Renaisregio. exRepublic of Letters was split into the perienced the birth of national state Catholic and the Protestant camps. The disappearance of AND INDEPENDENT DUCHfierce political individualism in Western Europe is best demonstrated on Italian IES. pessimism until approximately after the fitting them into the framework of one of plague of 1592-94. France achieved unithe five major configurations mentioned. It seeks a synthesis of the homme double higher than corporeal nature but also more substantial than man's sublimation into a merely spiritual essence. exactly one hundred years later. The consciousness decades before the rest of painful process of national individuation Europe and followed Italy into an eclipse of modern European states was initiated at the accession of Philip II in 1558. Second. The implementation of the formula cuius After 1600. it was these Burgundian provinces which were to deal the first blow to the Spanish Hapsburgs. At one time or another. fied statehood only at the accession of Every subject was forced to help his Henri IV in 1589. Spain. The remaining decisive agents of European politics were. they all be1685. politically unified in 1474 by choice on his subjects. lacked the necessary leisure and and England. for that matter. three of the five rivals for hegemony in Christendom were eliminated. by the absolutist policies of the Pope. nor did she succumb to baroque sals at home and weaker neighbors abroad. every one ABSOLUTIST SUPE RSTATE of these principalities. she literally threw herself into the arms of the Empire after the death of Charles the Bold in 1477. the Landesherr the state of glorified vassals of the Emwas free to impose the confession of his pire. were forced into the Hapsburg imperial fold after 1526. duchies. shattered the spiritual ness is felt everywhere. we turn to political and cultural history to show how this spiritualized elation replaced the Renaissance elan vital between 1550 and 1600. MIROSLAV JOHN HANAK sovereign make his respective world concept the only and exclusive political reality.13 seeking to reach the absolute in spiritual experience through the sublimation of matter. The first victim of the rising national superstates was Burgundy. France. eius religio. Bohemia and Hungary. acting PARTICULARISM OF REas the most efficient striking force of the NAISSANCE CITY STATES Hapsburg Empire.318 nausea. so fearlessly explored in postbaroque times by Schopenhauer. Nietzsche. Henceforth. although unified early by the Emperor. the Emperor and the King of France. a campaign was energy for a full-blown Renaissance bewell under way to reduce obstinate vas. come absorbed by the Empire. Next. if we do not count the brief and violent intervention of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.l4 It hopes to reconcile man's polarity between flesh and spirit by going beyond the Renaissance lust for life and thus distorts15 the contained Renaissance classicism. In order to escape the centralizing policies of Louis XI of France. she too seemed . and Sartre. tine popes found themselves reduced to of Europe. the England. The Renaissance the marriage of Isabel and Fernando. AND republics had attempted political reunification of the Apennine Peninsula FRANCE BETWEEN 1500under its aegis. worked out at the Peace sance exuberance to baroque otherworldliof Augsburg in 1555. The post-Tridenunity of the Empire and. After this examination of baroque's essential features. DECADENCE OF POLITICAL tion of Italian city states by Spain.fore 1558. By 1550. the concept begins to reveal itself as a forceful and forced aesthetic elation. Ironically. we must consider the absorpII.

The following outTWEEN 1550-1700. economic. and political stagnation affecting all of Europe. and idea in the world of letters until about 1700. is discredited by the universal stagnation of all vital forces after 1685. belongs intellectually already to III. Only then Italian. believed to be dead for almost a generation. more than half a century runs its course between 1600 and 1660 before classical restraint originating in France begins seriously to threaten the ascendancy of baroque pessimism. the superstate seemed to be working everywhere for the safety and happiness of its citizens. By . This period. The only true victory of classicism comes. and injustice reflects her birth pains in the baroque sensibility of ecstatic suffering. form. the materialist philosopher takes over. however. the spirit of baroque gives this infant modern Europe the hope of man transcending his condition. is relaxed.Baroque Mentality and Its Cultural Impact to have lost her spirit of independent and adventurous discovery. Once this belief. like the one of the Austrian Succession. The image of modern Europe born in strife. cruelty. the mainspring of baroque elation. as pointed out earlier. Even the tension between mundane and eternal forces. What has survived of the Renaissance elan vital is now completely extinguished. world view between 1550-1700. transferred from political theory to the sphere of letters and arts. Literary critics. if artificial equanimity of eighteenthcentury neoclassicsim. as no more than a rather contrived take-off on Greco-Roman models. Paul Hazard calls this period the crisis of European conscience. in Germany after 1786-1787. Even wars. inventing the enlightened. classical order succumbs once more to the exigencies of man's emotions anchored in irrationality. seem to drag their feet. too. by contrast with her so recent and magnificent splendor. 319 1600. Such decline in vitality is most keenly felt in France. with a sullen determination to forget the name of Calderon. The last two decades of the seventeenth century level off into a cultural. As their most powerful weapon they use the idea of absolute order. the victory of Descartes' "clear and distinct ideas" over emotions is neither total nor lasting. The only solace that seems to be left to man is the hope for a speedy redemption from the shackles of flesh. and German neoclassicism gains momentum. revised by seventeenth-century bienseances born in Versailles. Through an act of a collective exaltation. modern man succumbs to the command of medieval asceticism. DISILline of major baroque writers in the five focal areas of Western civilization should LUSIONMENT WITH LIFE bear witness to the universal spread of TRANSCENDED THROUGH the anti-Renaissance and anti-classical ECSTATIC METAPHYSICS. The pessimistic moralizing of La Bruybre and the ecstatic visions and utopias of Ft6nelon are irrepressible reactions of the baroque mentality. discounting outright imitations. playwrights. little original evidence of strict economy of emotion. BAROQUE LITERATURE BEthe nineteenth century.focal points of its emergence. not even in the France of Louis XIV after 1660. The definitive extinction of the baroque spirit in France occurs some time between the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and Louis XIV's death in 1715. Unfortunately. though in The realization of futility dogging all varying degrees of intensity at the five human endeavor came from political ex. English. Tormented by the dilemma between earthly success and the promise of eternal bliss. The Spaniards do little more than translating and adapting Corneille's and Racine's theater. Still. and poets from Malherbe to Racine strive to overcome the chaos of erotico-religious ecstasy. The question of the birthplace of perimentation between 1500-1685. though as a rule. Outside of France we find. He rationalizes man's existential plight. preaching the acceptance of the vanity of all mundane things. Within twenty years after the accession of the Sun King.

sowing everywhere disillusionment of mankind with itself." as Luis Resales calls the baroque creative effort. a contemporary of G6ngora. Was it Italy or Spain? Or was the Zeitgeist of the seventeenth century. of this Counter Renaissance. a living monument to the "substantivization of form. written seven years after Shakespeare's death. while Germany's brooding yet efficient dogmatism finds its natural propensity to conceptualization of life fulfilled in the baroque? Ricardo Scrivano's II manierismo nella letteratura del cinquecento defines the second half of the sixteenth century as "conceit-filled Petrarchism.. The poetic flights of the philosopher Giordano Bruno (15481600) reveal an interior chaos of antithetical drives of lust and knowledge."20 The secentismo should be viewed." 19 Marino's Adone. Friederich had called the baroque. and John Lyly. bursting with emotional content? Did France and England remain untouched by baroque. there should be no doubt but that the Spaniard San Ignacio is the father of its spirit.l8 A systematic analysis of the birth of baroque from decaying Renaissance calls for an examination considering first Italy." 16 E. Yet the true representatives of baroque's twisted. Tasso knowingly destroys his sanity and life. sustained by ele- . is an epic monster of some 40. Botero's political essay Della ragion di stato is a moralist's approach to the tenets of Machiavelli. Aside from Tasso.320 baroque art and mentality is a moot point. in spite of their naturalistic goriness. His essentially reflective genius becomes often lost in a plethora of fantastic speculations on human soul and nature. Giraldi's theater and novels. the secentismo or Marinism presents the dilemma between flesh and spirit more as a frivolous and playful tension than a cosmic battle between heaven and earth. delight in horrors and sensuality recalling Webster's and Massinger's dramas. her literary baroque is usually identified with the secentismo." 17 MIROSLAV JOHN HANAK Hatzfeld draws a conciliating conclusion of the Italian-Spanish controversy over baroque's cradle: [If] the Italian Michelangelo is the father of formal baroque as established by Woefflin. By contrast. after the poet Giambattista Marino (1569-1625). the more serious representatives of Italian baroque are Giovanni Botero (1533-1617). but calls Spain the "first one engaged in the battle [for baroque values] as an ally of Austria and Catholic Germany. written shortly after 1550. very unspiritual sensualist. Stressing the supremacy of the spiritual over temporal power. and Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). reaping the lushest crop of artistic irrationality in Latin countries? Was it because Latins just naturally produce works of art in ornate form. dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney. as the uncontested birthplace of the Renaissance. Wellek calls Marino "a tension-free. Rattista Guarini (15381612). Giambattista Giraldi (1504-1573). Because Italy allowed herself to lapse gently into an ornamental and relatively non-violent mannerism.. as in De gl'heroici furori (1584-85). LafuenteFerrari believes the baroque emanated from Rome. Torn between the lure of the Grail and of Armida's garden.2l as an organic transition from the baroque to eighteenth-century enlightened rationalism. or "style of the sixteen hundreds. they remain flat and cold. tragic grandeur are Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) and Michelangelo (1475-1564). he writes the Gerusalemme liberata only to set out on a desperate pilgrimage in quest of himself. as Werner P. very much like the mannerist baroque or baroquism defined by Hatzfeld. as he struggles for the crusader's charisma of perfect Christianity. Little more than stylized imitations of Boccaccio's lusty tales. in contrast to the "Renaissance substantivization of reality. Shakespeare. Guarini's Pastor Fido (1582) is a tour de force of schematic conceptism. a mannerist abstraction of torrid meridional eroticism. it shows serious concern for the interiorization of II Principe's pragmatism.000 verses." also known as Marinism. stumbling between impossible dreams and intolerable reality.

Baroque Mentality and Its Cultural Impact gant banter and witty. Spanish baroque predates the Italian by one generation. unmatched even by the antithetical naturalism of the Middle Ages. as well as in the terrible twistings of Donne's and Gracian's conceits."22 possible that the baroque manner is an original or even eternal expression of Spain's collective being. haunted by an almost pre-Romantic atmosphere. as slight as its penetration into Spain may have been. ending almost simultaneously with it."23 Ortega y Gasset insists in an essay titled "El punto de vista en las artes" that "baroque was preformed in Spain and came to its culminating point when the [Iberian] Peninsula extinguished the last vestige of the Renaissance. unfinished forms. defines Calderon's baroque theater as contained dynamism and controlled distortion of man in the cosmic battle between flesh and 321 spirit. and 1726. apparently finding the deterioration of classical reality into baroque boundlessness quite in keeping with her cultural taste. without the Italian Renaissance." 29 Alonso insists that if we interpret this restlessness strictly as an aspect of form. this collision takes place through an effective dissonance. In agreement with Wellek.28 I believe that the strange mixture of attraction and revulsion which most critics experience when exposed to baroque art is due largely to this true reflection of the frighteningly confused and paradoxical image of the cosmic life pulse and of man's perpetually frustrated quest of the infinite. Significantly." 30 The dates suggested for Spanish literary baroque are 1554. Valbuena Prat. which happens in many of Quevedo's pages and is found in the life and literary exuberance of Lope de Vega. as in G6ngora's and Marino's Polifemo. or of monstrosity and beauty. and in the eruptions of nature's bounty in torrents of flowers and fruits. He finds the resulting synthesis a rather precarious balance of two antimonies engaged in perpetual warfare. On the other hand. the publication of Feijoo's Teatro critico universal. it is a collision of reality with unreality. finding a much more fertile ground in Spain than in France." 24 Ludwig Pfandl speaks in his Geschichte der spanischen Nationalliteratur in ihrerer Bluetezeit of a style in which the Spanish soul "exaggerates its innate duality between naturalism and illusionism. In his book Gongora y el Polifemo Damaso Alonso reviews the main themes of baroque literature with special attention to seventeenth-century Spain. This balance manifests itself in predominantly open. as a result of the penetration of . On other occasions. which leaves the noble world inherited from the Renaissance open to harsh voices or glimpses of the infrahuman." 27 as the deepest substratum of baroque sensibility. had it not felt threatened by the Renaissance yea to life." 25 In "Las complicaciones del arte barroco. we will find that it proceeds "from within. author of the definitive history of Spanish literature. learned carefreeness. the dates that are suggested as boundary lines of the literary baroque are 1575 (the writing of the Gerusalemme) and 1724. the printing of the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes. identifies the "mozarabic spirit" and "mudejar art. Ferruccio Blasi calls the Spanish baroque in his Dal Classicismo al Secentismo in Ispagna "an ill-digested and It is quite popularized Renaissance. Spain was virtually bypassed by the Renaissance lust for knowledge and sensuality." As a rule. Sacheverell Sitwell calls Spain a "baroque nation by predestination. the performance date of Metastasio's opera Didone abbandonata. Spanish baroque would have hardly assumed its character of incredibly distorted ecstasy. Alonso finds the same disturbance of equilibrium and serenity in "the somber and terrible landscapes." 26 Hatzfeld's essay appearing in the Revista de filologia hispdnica. he defines as the common denominator of baroque a "kind of unrest which transcends mere form." He further points to the tension-filled restlessness and instability that make baroque "oscillate between a mere coincidence of opposites and a veritable contradiction or conflagration of opposites. In Italy." Amtrico Castro blames the baroque for retarding Spain's national development through "reactionary dreams. as in Calder6n's Life is a Dream.

German the culminating point of an all-European literary baroque makes itself felt rather baroque experience. like Rodogune (1644) and Pertharite (1652). Pierre. Certain works of Corneille." 32 Wellek is skeptical33 in analyzing Hatzfeld's contention that metaphysical and religious ideas customarily described as classical concerns are "a religious-vital elation which is the quintessence of the baroque soul. the prose of Ziegler (1663time. The poetic Recueils of SaintAmant (1594-1661) and of Tristan l'Hermite (1601-1655). After 1685. moral. developed in the atmos.are admittedly products of Calvinistic lifebridled ambition makes him change his denial expressed in an ecstatic concept of poetic techniques. France. appearing respectively in 1629 and 1641. "The French were late. thus. too. and aesthetic policies as against the absurdity of living. As dates governing the life span of French literary baroque I suggest the year 1587 when Malherbe publishes his Larmes de St. of Duke Anton Ulrich zu Brauncendancy of anti-liberal and. show burlesque exuberance verging on grotesque and brood- MIROSLAV JOHN HANAR practically invited to reexamine their classical art of the period of Louis XIV and admit it as their baroque. at the same time. There seems to be little opposition from German scholarly criticism to the use of the term baroque in literature. structure. Von launches a ruthless campaign against irregularity in vocabulary. as evident from her classical concerns discussed above. clashing with man's worm-eaten phere of post-Pl&iade "disorder. The novels of Zesen (1619-1689). calling French classicism "subdued baroque. The gradual triumph of classicism in the disillusionment with human striving France between 1620-1680 is radically during and especially after the Thirty reinterpreted by Hatzfeld. The term is. The baroque undercurrent is virtually extinguished in French letters after Louis XIV's accession in 1660. The capricious satires of Thdophile de Viau and his existential musings in La solitude (1620) are decidedly more baroque than classical. anti. and of lyrical absolutism of order which was to Heinrich Buchholz (1607-1671) have. mostly owing to the culture-arresting ."34 I agree with Wellek that Hatzfeld's interpretation of French classicism as "only a variant of baroque" 35 is carrying too far the universal spread of baroque sensibility. Germany is the best example of how century after his death in 1628. Malherbe's (1555-1628) un. Recast as a tragicomedy by the author in 1628." He existence. he becomes responsible for the as. traditionally considered a German export.schweig-Wolfenbuettel (1633-1714). His sonnet "Dans l'horreur des forets" shows direct kinship with the "existential fear sonnets" of Quevedo and Gryphius. his last non-classical poem. After 1600.eternity.1696). tyrannize French letters for over half a found a permanent haven in the baroque fold. The appearance of the first picaresque novel born of life disillusionment and preaching indifference to fate predates Charles V's first abdication only by two years. He sees the Years' War rekindled a militant faith in victory of Richelieu's and Louis XIV's eternal essences as a necessary antidote political. would pass the test of classical measure only with great difficulty. refused to acknowledge the many baroque elements which struggled for recognition in the postPliade drama represented by Thdophile de Viau's (1590-1626) tragicomedy Pyrame et Thisbe (1617) and Jean Schelandre's (1585-1635) interminable and gory tragedy Tyre et Sidon (1608).322 rationalist doubt into Spain. and Grimmelshausen's (1622-1676) Simplizisemotion in poetry. baroque ways once more recapture some sway over French literary sensibility and hold their own until about 1715." 31 Leo Spitzer's "Die Klassische Daempfung in Racines Stil" is less revolutionary. Two hundred years before Hugo. It is his debut as major poet and. The dramas of Gryphius (1616-1664) and of Lohenstein (1635-1683) ing life pessimism. Ogier called for a break with the servile imitation of the Ancients. its chief value lies in the preface written by FranSois Ogier. after all. Almost alone at the simus (1668-69).

as it mirrors and interprets more than national history. After Elizabeth's death in 1603 and especially during James I's reign. It forms in the minds of the spectator a national image of admirable virtues and reprehensible vices. does not make Lyly a baroque writer. In both England and Spain. published in 1730. because its verbal acrobacy is more premeditated than truly felt existential fear. They may be less pronounced in the Carolinian drama and metaphysical poetry.Baroque Mentality and Its Cultural Impact effects of the war. written possibly as early as 1614. Duke of Byron (1608). Its exceedingly ornate prose thrives on puns. which had grown out of actual experience. early seventeenth-century drama increasingly tempers its life exuberancy without plunging into the outright didacticism of the German baroque theater. It is not the denouement itself. no more. Donne's Anniversaries (1611-1612) may not qualify as baroque poetry. but whose essence is invariably filtered through the eternal Spanish "medievality" and folksiness. even if unsuccessful. or translations from Marino36 that make him a baroque poet. and Carolinian drama which does not seem to present convincing arguments in support of its baroque inspiration. The opening of a permanent public theater helps to mold the national conscience of both Englishmen and Spaniards. It is. Latinity. The denouement and message of the plays strike closer to that of the Spanish comedia which owes a heavy debt to the Renaissance in the theater of Cervantes. first of all. paronomasias. and Lope de Vega. the Jacobean and Carolinian drama is definitely transforming its Renaissance values. namely in England. however. sententiae. John Ford's (1586-1639) tragedy of melancholy pretends to echo Robert Burton's Anatomy of . however. The situation is quite different in the fifth and last cultural area of baroque interest. The revenge tragedy of Cyril Tourneur (1570?-1625) attacks the materialist and atheistic doctrines of the Renaissance. As the Spanish and English political and religious world views become locked in an impasse threatening mutual annihilation. but rather his innermost attunement to the times "out of joint. which distinguishes a Renaissance play from a baroque one. in England as anywhere else. but Webster's White Devil (1612) and Duchess of Malfi. exempla. As the most direct and forceful medium of molding public opinion. but it is the disillusioned world view and the interiorization of man's yearnings that make the literature of early seventeenth-century England more baroque than Renaissance. respectively. of Bussy d' Ambois (1604-7?). Tirso de Molina. the originally lusty and optimistic representation of their respective national histories starts gravitating toward universally human themes. Gryphius's Carolus Stuardus and Friedrich von Spee's Trutznachtigal both appear in 1649. predominantly from the viewpoint of medieval vanitas. using incredibly macabre naturalism to make its point. The end of German baroque sensibility is hastened by Gottsched's Versuch einer critischen Dichtkunst. The sense of all human striving is seriously questioned. mythological allusions. as its moral slant. proverbs and audio-visual emblematic devices. designs. or the Anatomy of Wit (1578). and of Charles. Tamburlaine (1587). bring into relief the vanity of all human endeavor rather than the glory of man's grand. in 1576 and 1579." Chapman's and Marlowe's heroic tragedies unabashedly glorify the will to power or to universal knowledge of Dr. Jacobean. material success and national triumph reexamined. The only phenomenon generally recognized as quasi-baroque in English six- 323 teenth-century letters is Lyly's Euphues. It is not Crashaw's (1613-1649) Catholicism. the theater in England becomes a national institution almost at the same time as in Spain. sojourn in Spain. the Elizabethan. Faustus (1592). one year after the cessation of hostilities. Such formal devices are baroque elements. the terror of man's cruelty and hope for God's mercy of Gryphius's Sonn-und Feiertagssonnette of 1639. This alone. an atmosphere of futility and general contrition seems to invade the minds of most thinkers and writers. away from all propagandizing trivia. Especially after 1600. His Songs and Sonnets of 1633 anticipate.

King Lear (1605). a man of his time and country. In this sense. Even the Restoration theater of John Dryden (1631-1700) remains under the spell of vanity of all things mortal. His flagging faith in mankind's chance of happiness in this world has produced no doubt the greatest masterpieces of European theater because of his awareness of the Renaissance world crumbling around him and of a modern Angst-ridden world being born. but the atmosphere of Paradise Lost and the figure of Satan are clearly baroque. Coriolanus MIROSLAV JOHN HANAK (1608). and the dark comedies like The Winter's Tale (1608) reflect more than a normal aging process of a genius possessed with the uncanny sensibility to intuit the cosmic suffering which pulsates in all creation. Richard III (1593). quite possibly.37 Milton's Latin poems. and James Shirley (1596-1666). aside from the obvious panache. here and now. Philip Massinger (15831639). bred on the sacrosanct untouchability of their classicisme. and most of the other historic plays reflects the view of a Renaissance virtuoso. like Tourneur's drama. if we may judge by much of his dramatic production after 1670. it is indeed surprising that many critics of English letters should shy away from the word baroque as inapplicable to the English literary and artisitc experience. we must recognize a dual Dryden: the baroque playwright and the early neoclassicist of the odes. and of the heroico-political allegories. Antony and Cleopatra (1607). Shakespeare was. but the atmosphere reflects what Spain may have well introduced in the world as disillusionment with too much exuberance. and Don Sebastian (1690) may and may not have been written under Calder6n's influence. Shakespeare seems to be caught up in the common atmosphere of resignation. who to a foreigner appears the most baroque. it explores." saved by his inexterminable faith in the redeeming quality of the human spirit. only to show the meaninglessness of all human endeavor. Valbuena Prat singled out Satan in his discussion of the Spanish baroque as an example of the baroque hero par excellence. and in eternity. the depth of human misery and "came back. the Earl of Essex had wagered and lost his head. . A close examination of Cervantes' work will show us the Renaissance epic poet and author of rather poor comedias like Numancia. if not impending doom. The Conquest of Granada (1672). After 1600. excellent short novels and ribald entremeses. somewhat categorically called by Hatzfeld "Jesuitenbarock." 40 shows us a Cervantes who had penetrated.41 It is understandable that the French. and major portions of Paradise Lost (1660-65) are undoubtedly classical. first and foremost. his L'Allegro and II Penseroso (1630-31). apply the term baroque with a sound dose of scorn. The themes and characters have little to do with authentic Spain. A similar partition must be undertaken with Shakespeare and Milton. of plays respecting the classical unities like All for Love (1677). all written before 1606. Shakespeare's early tragic world in which were conceived Titus Andronicus (1594). until the closure of the English theater in 1642. the belief in man's perfectibility and the yea to life grows steadily thinner. As time wears on. In view of the common formal devices and ideological concerns of the English and Spanish theater as a national institution." 39 There is nothing irreverent in splitting in two a genius who is too exclusive to belong entirely to one category.324 Melancholy of 1621. like Shakespeare after 1600. The Spanish Friar (1681). Julius Caesar (1599). As a result. full of will to power and optimism which leaves no pessimistic aftertaste. Such drama can hardly pass for a reflection of the Renaissance spirit. the deepest and most frightening possibilities of man's depravity. Hamlet (1601). Don Quijote. Actually. however. late Shakespeare may be called a baroque man. Othello (1604). even if the proponents of an often insane rush for power are mercilessly butchered by fate. Macbeth (1606). gained and used up too fast. as is evident from the works of Thomas Middleton (1580-1627).38 Hatzfeld calls Milton "the most Hispanized poet of the age. which haunted the last years of Elizabeth's reign and against which.

. The aesthetic concerns of baroque were. As its ending date we may designate the year of the writing of All for Love (1677). concluding an analysis of Richard Crashaw's admittedly baroque style. which had been rehabilitated by the Renaissance. or at best. on the whole. fully gratified. Never before or since has man been so obsessed with reaching the absolute through such desperately elated interiorization of his existence." Wellek points to several prominent critics who were not afraid of the term: . owing to the existence of a powerful national theater in London. in 1934. although Dryden kept right on writing baroque plays... The clash of the exigencies of the two eternally battling elements of what Hugo and Baudelaire later called l'homme double. 78. They succeeded in using the senses. safe from all space and time limitations. Watkin. The debris were laboriously gathered and reassembled by baroque idealism into ethical patterns supposedly safer from the transiency of physical phenomena. remains baroque's principal formula. discussed Crashaw as baroque.. "El barroco espanol. but before Germany. but not. as necessary paths to the unio mystica between creation and creator. 1957)."46 With reference to Crashaw's "baroqueness. lasting until about 1700. 17-30.Baroque Mentality and Its Cultural Impact as befitting something monstrous. actually two monographs on Donne and Crashaw. Crashaw is again. late in 1924. "we prefer to call it a style like Crashaw's. freely refers to baroque in literature and to the literary baroque in England. In spite of many critics quoted by Wellek who recognize the existence of a literary baroque in English letters. a close student of German Catholic literature. which in its title avoids the term baroque. and even Restoration theater as a wholly Renaissance phenomenon. O. prominently. E. XXVIII (1944). it seems to me.45 In the words of Douglas Bush. unbridled. "metaphysical." Boletin del Institute de Investigaciones Hist5ricas. Italy.. but in its text. Wellek stresses the importance of accepting the term baroque in the history of English literature: the concept [of baroque] seems especially important since the very existence of such a style has been obscured by the extension given to the term Elizabethan and by the narrow limits of the one competing traditional term. V (1946). 77. the tension increased beyond the tolerance of Renaissance forms and exploded the old mold of classsical realism. Carolinian. author of English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century." "a 325 1578. the fact remains that the average student of English literature considers the term baroque a German. In its titanic struggle between reason and faith. 6(Hamburg. Unless we use the date of Euphues' publishing in 1Rene Wellek "The Concept of Baroque in Literary Scholarship. making it a unique moment in European intellectual history. We must admit that it is difficult to assess how successful the baroque experiment with the forcible incorporation of the Renaissance heritage into artificially revived medieval faith has really been." 44 Most scholars are willing to accept the Elizabethan.. One thing is sure. The baroque sensibility asserts itself later in England than in Spain. and repulsive. and France. Jacobean. I.. 4Leo Spitzer. p.. a European import.47 Continental baroque sensibility makes itself felt in both political and cultural happenings of late Elizabethan England. the probable date of Hamlet's performance (1601) is as good as any marking the inception of English literary baroque. Beachcroft.. Mario Praz finished a book Secentismo e Marinismo in Inghlaterra.43 Wellek himself concedes "the term baroque occurs in English scholarship more frequently." JAAC. though. aWellek. the center of a study of the baroque by T. 8 Wellek... Austin Warren's book on Crashaw has the subtitle: A Study in Baroque Sensibility (l939). such as Don Sebastian (1690). The fin de siecle atmosphere of futility was as dismal and all-pervasive in London as it was in Paris or Madrid. even after evolving his own brand of neoclassicism.

p. XII (1928). II. pp. from Otto 15 Hatzfeld. 9 (Duesseldorf. 155-84. p. 29 Wellek. 43 The Concept. 46Roy Daniels. p. Don Quijote als Wortkunstwerk (Leipzig. 1925). 35Helmut Hatzfeld. 56 and 59). 210. S6 He translated into English The Massacre of the Innocents." University of Toronto Quarterly. 17"La interpretaci6n del barroco y sus valores espanoles. P. 2a (Rome. 1960). Gdngora y el Polifemo (Madrid. 67-98. 88Angel Valbuena Prat. 92. 41Alan M. 84Hatzfeld. Die Malerei im Barockzeitalter in Frankreich und Spanien and from Nicolaus Pevsner. 37 Wellek." Boletin del seminario de Estudios de Arte y Arqueologia. The Civilization of the Renaissance (New York. The Concept of Baroque. 21 Hatzfeld. 14Heinrich Woelfflin. 215. 81. 80. 485-98. 31Hatzfeld. 84. p. p. 1912). Boase. 92. pp. p. 35. Renaissance und Barock." Revue des sciences humaines. p. 45. 89 Wellek. 213-81. The Concept of Baroque. I (1935). pp. 2 Revista de Occidente (1933). "Baroque Form in English Literature. pp.. Einleitung. p. 46Oxford History of English Literature. 85. 92-125. 88 Wellek. 161-168. The Concept of Baroque. Klassik als Barock. Estudios. The Concept of Baroque. 1929). p.B. 16Riccardo Scrivano. 81. Historia de la literatura espanola (Barcelona. . ed. 94. Estudios. Cruz y Raya (1936). 134. p. 13 Helmut Hatzfeld." Tijdschrift vor Taal en Letteren XXIII (1935). II manierismo nella letteratura del cinquecento (Padova. 40"Helmut Hatzfeld. The Concept of Baroque. p. 1961). "Die franzoesische Klassik in neuer Sicht. 1961). "Poltes anglais et francais de l'epoque baroque. p. Romanicum. 28Historia de la literatura espaniola (Barcelona. 1929). VII (1942). 401 (Tables no." III (1941). p.326 Wellek. 36132Archivum 472. 20Luis Resales "La figuraci6n y la voluntad de morir en la poesia espaniola. 1960). 74-78. 59. 485-498. 97. pp. 44The Concept. II. 81. Eine Untersuchung ueber Wesen und Entstehung des Barockstils in Italien (Muenchen. 398. p. 13. 13-66. p. pp. 47Wellek. 18Estudios. 1960). 1964). 392-408. p. Burckhardt. 141. 8Jakob predominio del espiritu espaniol en la literatura del siglo XVII. 84. pp. u (New Haven. 287. 10 (Berlin. Estudios. 83. 75-76. " (Tuebingen. 72. The Concept of Baroque. 28 Southern Baroque Art (London. 81. pp. 1959). 13. p. 1927). pp. F. p. 80 Damaso Alonso. Barockmalerei in den Romanischen Laendern. 9-23. 7 MIROSLAV 27"El JOHN HANAKR 6 (Madrid. XIV (1945). 1921). 1945). 26"Las complicaciones del arte barroco. p. II (1949). 21. Estudios sobre el Barroco (Madrid. 1924). 19 The Concept of Baroque. 42The Concept of Baroque. I. quoting Grautoff. Wilson and Bonamy Dobree. 25(Freiburg i. Estudios. 5." Tierra Firme. 1964).