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Cristóbal de Castillejo

Born: 1490
Birthplace: Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain
Died: 12-Jun-1556
Location of death: Vienna, Austria
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Poet

Nationality: Spain
Executive summary: Spanish poet, disliked Italian forms

Spanish poet, born at Ciudad Rodrigo in 1490. In 1518 he left Spain with Ferdinand of Austria, afterwards emperor, whose private secretary he eventually became. While residing at Vienna in 1528-30 he wrote the Historia de Píramo y Tisbe, and dedicated it to Anna von Schaumberg, with whom he had a platonic love affair. He seems to have visited Venice, to have been neglected by his patron, to have fallen ill in 1540, and to have passed his last years in poverty. He died on the 12th of June 1556, and was buried at Vienna. Castillejo's poems are interesting, not merely because of their intrinsic excellence, but also as being the most powerful protest against the metrical innovations imported from Italy by Boscán and Garcilaso de la Vega. He adheres to the native quintllas or to the coplas de pie quebrado, and only abandons these traditional forms when he indulges in caustic parody of the new school -- as in the lines Contra los que dejan los metros castellanos. He excels by virtue of his charming simplicity and his ingenious wit, always keen, sometimes licentious, never brutal. The urbane gaiety of his occasional poems is delightfully spontaneous, and the cynical humor which informs the Diálogo de las condiciones de las mujeres and the Diálogo de la vida de la carte is impregnated with the Renaissance spirit. Castillejo is the Clément Marot of Spain. His plays are lost; the best text of his verses is that printed at Madrid in 1792.

Mistress: Anna von Schaumberg (affair)



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