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Valle y Caviedes, Juan del (1645–1698)

Valle y Caviedes, Juan del (1645–1698)

Born in Porcuna, Spain, the poet Juan del Valle y Caviedes traveled to the New World at an early age and settled in the Viceroyalty of Peru, where he participated in various mining activities and kept a small shop in the city of Lima. Although he is known mostly for his satirical poetry, he also wrote love and religious poems. His works, which circulated in manuscript form, adhere to thematic and stylistic conventions of the Spanish baroque and reveal a preoccupation with the contradictions of a colonial society that was growing apart from its European origins.

Valle's satire sheds light on local issues of seventeenth-century Peruvian society. His mockery of two important Lima doctors, Francisco Bermejo and Miguel Ossera, reveals when analyzed closely an awareness of the power struggle taking place between economically flourishing Creoles and Spanish peninsular newcomers who benefited from important bureaucratic positions. Similarly, in one of his many misogynist satires concerning prostitution, the poet makes use of humorous wordplay to expose financial corruption amid Peru's mining activities. In various poems, among them a parodic letter to the viceroy, baroque ideas of life as a stage serve to highlight Valle's preoccupation with Peru's colonial subjects as individuals caught between Spanish and nascent New World identities.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Works by Valle y Caviedes

Valle y Caviedes, Juan del. Obra completa. Edited by María Leticia Cáceres, Luis Jaime Cisneros, and Guillermo Lohmann Villena. Lima: Banco de Crédito del Perú, 1990.

Other Sources

Arellano, Ignacio. "Problemas textuales y anotación de la obra poética de Juan del Valle y Caviedes." In Edición e interpretación de textos andinos: Actas del congreso internacional, edited by Ignacio Arellano and José Antonio Mazzotti. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2000.

Lasarte, Pedro. Lima satirizada (1598–1968): Mateo Rosas de Oquendo y Juan del Valle y Caviedes. Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, 2006.

Reedy, Daniel. The Poetic Art of Juan del Valle Caviedes. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964.

                                         Pedro Lasarte

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