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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an aristocratic school of Spanish 17th-century poetry, one of whose founders was the poet Luis de Góngora y Argote.

Analogous in many ways to Marinism in Italy and précieux literature in France, Gongorism rejected the Renaissance principles of accessibility in poetry and turned to an “aristocracy of the spirit” (gente culta). It sanctioned the “cult of pure form,” or plotlessness as a principle and intentional complexity of poetic language. In the 1620 sand 1630’s many Spanish Renaissance artistic figures such as Lope F. de Vega Carpio and Tirso de Molina criticized Gongorism. In the mid-17th century, however, Gongorism became the hegemonic trend in Spanish and Spanish-American poetry. In the 18th century, the term “Gongorism” became synonymous with affected, formalistic poetry. Interest in Gongorism was regenerated at the very beginning of the 20th century, under conditions of a crisis in bourgeois culture.


Retortillo y Tornos. A. Examen crítico del gongorismo. Madrid, 1890.
Mérimée, E. Góngora et le gongorisme espagnol. Paris, 1911.
Kane, E. K. Gongorism and the Golden Age. Chapel Hill-London. 1928.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.