Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 148 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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IGNACIO LUZAN CLARAMUNT DE SUELVES Y GURREA (1702-1754), Spanish critic and poet, was born at Saragossa on the 28th of March 1702. His youth was passed under the care of his uncle, and, after studying at Milan, he graduated in philosophy at the university of Catania. In 1723 he took minor orders, but abandoned his intention of entering the church and took up his residence at Naples, where he read assiduously. Business took him to Spain in 1733, and he became known in Madrid as a scholar with a tendency towards innovations in literature. La Poetica, 6 Reglas de la poesia en general y de sus principales especies (1737) proved that this impression was correct. He at once took rank as the leader of the literary reformers, and his courteous determination earned him the respect of his opponents. In 1747 he was appointed secretary to the Spanish embassy in Paris and, on returning to Madrid in 1750, was elected to the Academia Poetica del Buen Gusto," where, on account of his travels, he was known by the sobriquet of El Peregrino. He became master of the mint and treasurer of the royal library. He died at Madrid, after a short illness, on the '9th of May 1754. Luzon was not the pioneer of Franco-Italian theories in Spain, but he was their most powerful exponent, and his Poetica is an admirable example of destructive criticism. The defects of Lope de Vega and Calder6n are indicated with vigilant severity, but on the constructive side Luzan is notably weak, for he merely proposes to substitute one exhausted convention for another. The doctrine of the dramatic unities had not the saving virtues which he ascribed to it, and, though he succeeded in banishing the older dramatists from the boards, he and his school failed to produce a single piece of more than mediocre merit. His theories, derived chiefly from Muratori, were ineffective in practice; but their ingenuity cannot be denied, and they acted as a stimulus to the partisans of the national tradition. LUZ-SAINT-SAUVEUR, a town of south-western France in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees, 21 m. S. of Lourdes by rail. Pop. (1906) 1069. Luz is beautifully situated at a height of 2240 ft. on the Bastan. It has a remarkable church, built by the Templars in the 12th and 13th centuries and fortified later. The crenelated ramparts with which it is surrounded, and the tower to the north of the apse resembling a keep, give it the aspect of a fortress; other interesting features are the Romanesque north door and a chapel of the 16th century. The village of St Sauveur lies a little above Luz on the left bank of the gorge of the Gave de Pau, which is crossed higher up by the imposing Pont Napoleon (186o). It is a pleasant summer resort, and is visited for its warm sulphurous springs. Discovered in the 16th century, the waters came into vogue after 1820, in which year they were visited by the duchesses of Angouleme and Berry. There is much picturesque mountain scenery in the vicinity; 12 M. to the south is the village of Gavarnie, above which is the magnificent rock amphitheatre or cirque of Gavarnie, with its cascade, one of the highest in Europe.

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