Meléndez Valdés, Juan

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Meléndez Valdés, Juan

(hwän mālān`dāth väldās`), 1754–1817, Spanish neoclassic poet. He studied classics and law and later taught humanities at Salamanca. After much political vacillation during the rise and fall of the Bonapartes, he was forced to flee to France. As poet he was outstanding in an otherwise undistinguished age of Spanish poetry. Although often sentimental and obvious, his work is musical, rich in language and imagery, and distinguished by a fine sensibility. His themes range from the sensual and joyous, celebrating love and nature (e.g., Los Besos de Amor), to the philosophical, deploring Spanish poverty and backwardness and pleading for liberal reforms.

Bibliography

See study by R. M. Cox (1974).

Meléndez Valdés, Juan

 

Born Mar. 11, 1754, in Ribera del Fresno, Spain; died May 24, 1817, in Montpellier, France. Spanish poet.

Meléndez Valdés studied in Madrid and Salamanca and became a professor at the University of Madrid in 1781. When Napoleon’s army invaded Spain in 1808, he entered Joseph Bonaparte’s service and went to France. He was a friend of G. M. Jovellanos y Ramírez. Meléndez Valdés is the author of the narrative poem The Glory of the Arts (1781), which describes ancient classical sculptures, and of the collection Lyric Poetry (1785).

While the early poems of Meléndez Valdés glorify the joy of life, his more mature poems express disenchantment with the bourgeois Enlightenment and criticize bourgeois civilization. Meléndez Valdés called for a return to the natural and peaceful peasant life. By continuing the poetic tradition of L. de León, Meléndez Valdés was a forerunner of Spanish romanticism.

WORKS

Poesíuas. Madrid, 1925 (Clásicos castellanos, no. 64).
Poesías inéditas. Madrid, 1954.

REFERENCES

Colford, W. E. Juan Meléndez Valdés. New York, 1942.
Demerson. G. Don Juan Meléndez Valdés: Une Vie espagnole sous le signe de la France (1754-1817). Paris, 1961.

A. L. SHTEIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Melendez Valdes, Juan. Correspondance relative a la reunion des Hopitaux d'Avila.
Melendez Valdes, Juan. Discurso de apertura de la Real Audiencia de Extremadura (27 de abril de 1791).
(47) MELENDEZ VALDES, Juan: Obras completas, edicion de Antonio ASTORGANO, Madrid, Catedra, 2004, p.
Melendez Valdes, Juan. Obras completas, editado por Emilio Palacios Fernandez.
(23.) Melendez Valdes, Juan. <<Advertencia>>.
(2.) Se citan los textos de los poemas de Melendez segun la edicion critica de John Polt y Georges Demerson: Melendez Valdes, Juan. Obras en verso.
Para las variantes del poema <<El naufrago>> debe consultarse la edicion citada de Melendez Valdes, Juan. Obras en verso, I, pp.
(19.) Melendez Valdes, Juan. <<Prologo del autor>>.
Melendez Valdes, Juan. "Carta a Jovellanos, agosto 3, 1776." In Poetas liricos del siglo XVIII.
Aqui bastara copiar sus nombres: Alfonso Verdugo y castilla, conde de Torrepalma, Jose de cadalso, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, candido Maria Trigueros, Juan Melendez Valdes, Juan Ignacio Gonzalez del castillo, Tomas de Iriarte, Vicente Rodriguez de Arellano, Maria de Hore, Nicasio Alvarez de cienfuegos, Francisco Martinez de la Rosa, Manuel de cabanyes, Jacinto de Salas y Quiroga, Nicomedes Pastor Diaz y Angel de Saavedra y Ramirez de Baquedano, duque de Rivas (2).
Melendez Valdes, Juan. Las bodas de Camacho el Rico.