Cyclopean Song

Melancholy and Aestheticism in Góngora's Fábula de Polifemo y Galatea

Cyclopean Song

140 pp., 6 x 9, notes, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9240-4
    Published: January 1990

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

While work contrasting Polifemo and Galatea has been done previously, Kathleen Hunt Dolan’s book elevates the level of that discourse and enriches the concept with its deeply researched comparative approach. The book explores Polifemo, tying him first to the pre-Ovidian, underworld-dwelling tradition of the Cyclops, then laying out his expansive semantic field, in terms of time and depth, subjectivism, monstrosity, language, and darkness. Dolan’s book then takes this multi-faceted construct as the counterpoint to Galatea, whose figurative significance encompasses the relationship between space and surface, objectivism, beauty, and light, whiteness, and color. Dolan’s treatment of these tropes within Góngora’s tale is balanced not only with other works from within Gongoran canon and criticism, but also with a wide range of poets, artists, critics, and philosophers from a variety of traditions. This comparative approach affords the reader both a broader and deeper understanding of Góngora’s fabula.