- Góngora y Argote, Luis de
- (1561-1627)One of the major poets of the Golden Age of Spanish literature. His early education was with the Jesuits, and at Salamanca he secured broad classical education but failed to earn a degree because of his disorderly life-style. His father than secured him a benefice in the cathedral at Córdoba. Although his bishop accused him of drunkenness and neglect of his liturgical duties, he achieved a great reputation as a poet. His florid and complex Spanish style, characterized by Latinate grammatical constructions and the introduction of words taken from Latin and Greek, founded a tradition in Spanish literature known as Gongorism. In 1617 he was appointed a royal chaplain and moved to Madrid, but the position yielded an inadequate income, and he moved back to Córdoba. There he died in 1627 while at work on an edition of his poems.Góngora produced poetry in a variety of genres. Most of it received favorable notice, though his attempts at writing drama were failures. His ambition was to reshape Spanish into a literary medium comparable to the classical languages, a goal reflected in the title of his works published shortly after his death, in which he is called "the Spanish Homer." Perhaps his most famous poem is La fábula de Polifemo y Galatea, a pastoral based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, parodying not only its classical source and the Italian poet Petrarch but even Góngora's own style.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.