A Companion to Galician Culture (Monografías A) by Helena Miguélez-Carballeira

By Helena Miguélez-Carballeira

Of all of the differentiated areas comprising modern Spain, Galicia is almost certainly the main deeply marked through political, fiscal and cultural inequities in the course of the centuries. almost certainly because of the absence of a nationally conscious neighborhood bourgeoisie and the enduringly colonial constructions informing Spanish-Galician financial and cultural kin, strategies of nationwide building within the quarter were patchily profitable. besides the fact that, Galicia's cultural distinctness is well recognisable to the observer, from the language spoken within the region---the modern variation of previous Galician-Portuguese---to the categorical varieties of the Galician outfitted panorama, with its designated mix of indigenous, imported and hybrid components. the current quantity bargains English-language readers an in-depth creation to the necessary features of Galician cultural background, from pre-historical instances to the current day. while consciousness is given to the normal parts of medieval tradition, language, modern heritage and politics, the e-book additionally privileges compelling modern views on cinema, structure, the town of Santiago de Compostela and the city characteristics of Galician tradition this day. Helena Miguélez-Carballeira is a Senior Lecturer in Hispanic stories at Bangor college, and Director of the Centre for Galician experiences in Wales.

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The cantigas de amigo were also often composed with a choreographic function in mind and resorted to naturalistic imagery (the sea, a water spring or deer). There were also subtypes known as cantigas de santuario – where the lovers’ tryst is set near a hermitage or on a pilgrimage – and the mariñas or barcarolas – set by the sea. Although they were cultivated throughout the Galician-Portuguese lyrical period, the cantigas de amigo reached their zenith in the second half of the thirteenth century, coinciding with the heyday of the popular lyric in other parts of the Romance-speaking world.

As a result of their limited expressive resources these cantigas tend to have a homogeneous tone which is only broken by very subtle variations in register (Beltran 1995). As with the Occitan cansó, the cantiga de amor was considered to be the conceptual nucleus of the troubadour lyric and, as such, the most prestigious and aristocratic genre. Unlike the cansó, however, the cantiga de amor did not shy away from the use of popular techniques such as the refrain. In fact the refrain appears in 381 cantigas as compared with 316 of the mestría type (cantigas without refrain).

As far as thematic matter is concerned the Cantigas of the Virgin Mary tend to speak of the protection provided by the Virgin to her imperilled devotees, the promotion of sanctuaries, her visitations, the exaltation of virtues and the condemnation of vices and sin (Fidalgo 2002: 103–4). The prose cycle (fourteenth–fifteenth centuries) Prose literature in Galician from this period is less well known than poetry. This is because prose flourished in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries just prior to the period of decay known as the Séculos Escuros (Dark Ages) in traditional Galician literary historiography.

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