Perfumes de Barcelona: cancion catable, si oliera, el diablo que la leyera

A scatological classic online.

Le parfumeur at work.

Le parfumeur at work.

Published by Roca in Escudellers, Barcelona in 1843, and I think later reprinted as La mierdépolis, this simple poem begins with a philosophical discussion of poo and people, continues with a closer look at the backside of society – the world upside-down of a multitude of less offensive prints, and ends with Perico crapping in his lover Juana’s face:

It forms part of an extensive tradition of samizdat scatology (search for Biblioteca Scatologica) and many themes are recognisable from elsewhere: Perico y Juana, for example, is the title of a late 18th century(?), golden shower-tinged pornographic poem ascribed to Tomás de Iriarte, in 1804 proscribed in MS by the Vatican, and transcribed here by the excellent Laurel la Nínfula del Arcángel. (Are the Perico and Juana in Francisco Martínez de la Rosa’s mild MILF comedy, La niña en casa y la madre en la máscara, or are Pedro and Juana generic Pierrots and Columbines for Hispanidad?)

Another example: the following bout of synonymising, which you may choose to count as an oblique reference to Quevedo’s anal obsession, particularly in his polemic with Góngora and his relations with Doña Ynes Mucha Montón de Carne, or as a prelude to Cela’s Diccionario secreto:

Both poems are short and simple, so that’s all our homework for Friday night sorted :-)

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  1. Excellent – I’m just reading Jonathan Swift’s poetry at the moment and the titterer in me can’t avoid liking this cursing flash of being disabused, from a setting in which all is “stinks”.

    Thus finishing his grand Survey
    The Swains discgusted slinks away
    Repeating in his amorous Fits
    Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!
    (115 ff.)

  2. Good question – I suppose pseudonyms and other anonymising devices are not new though. In respect of the lines above, the last two were excised from the edition of 1735 in which it first appears (and even from a 1967 edition), and he died in 1745. Given the mental and physical illnesses that overtook him in the later years he may well have been superannuated by then and could write with greater latitude.

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