Dating Calderón's Autobiographical Ballad "Curiosísima señora.".

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    • Abstract:
      In 1853, Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch published a 187-verse fragment of an autobiographical ballad by Calderón de la Barca on which Cotarelo y Mori relied at times in his 1924 biography of the famous dramatist. In 1962, E. M. Wilson printed an altered but more complete version of this romance attributed to Don Carlos Alberto de Cepeda y Guzmán, a poet from Sevilla born in 1640, concluding that someone adapted Cepeda's original poem to make it refer to Calderón. Doubts regarding who composed the comic self-portrait persisted until 2003 when Professor Agustín de la Granja of the University of Granada reestablished Calderonian authorship, published our most reliable text of the 244-verse ballad, and argued that it was composed for a poetic contest held after a bullfight on 4 May 1623. The main purpose of the present study is to review briefly some of de la Granja's reasons for believing that the poem was composed in 1623, to summarize problems with this early dating, and to explain why composition in the 1637-1640 period may better fit some elements found in Calderón's poem. The texts of the incomplete version published in the nineteenth century by Hartzenbusch and of a manuscript of the complete ballad from the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid are published in the appendix to this article. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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