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REIMAGINING DIEGO DE SAN PEDRO'S READERS AT WORK: CÁRCEL DEAMOR Sol Miguel-Prendes Wake Forest University Envisioning Diego de San Pedro's readership has proved a vexed question. The difficulty in objectively reconstructing any sentimental fiction's readership dirough documentary sources leads Carmen Parrilla in a recent article to resort to complementary principles. Under the influence of reader-reception theory, in particular the outlining of the horizon of expectations to hypodiesize a Model Reader who decodes the textual cues proposed by the authorial function, Parrilla presumes a public analogous for that of cancionero poetry. It is fully acquainted wiüi the religio amoris fhat articulates erotic desire in terms of Christian love and stresses die contemplation of the lover's sufferings . The social environment for these sentimental reflections is die royal or nobiliary courts or ofher culturally refined circles ("La ficción sentimental y sus lectores" 22). Determining die audience for cancionero poetry dirough documentary sources, however, presents similar difficulties. A possible solution to this quandary may lie in Ana M. Gómez-Bravo's examination of cancionero poetry as a group practice within the limits ofnoble patronage . She advocates a re-evaluation of premodern audiorship as a social process through an analysis ofthe culture, social groups, historical development and the material conditions of writing. I propose to combine diis notion ofsocial audiorship widi an analysis of the cues provided in the works themselves to reimagine die intended readership for Diego de San Pedro's most celebrated masterpiece , Cárcel de amor, and, more generally, to explain the reading habits ofdie patrons who commissioned sentimental fictions as part of the network of practices diat produced literary texts at die Isabelline La corónica 32.2 (Spring, 2004): 7-44 8 Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 court.1 I shall consider the cultural context of Castilian literary and artistic patronage during the age of the Catholic Monarchs, dien analyze Cárcel's rhetoric of reading and social audiorship. Aldiough I am in no position at fhis point to extend my conclusions to the whole sentimental genre, I wish to address the recent controversy and present a fresh perspective on one ofits canonical works from my larger project on die impact of contemplative practices in fifteenth-century literary creation.2 Parrilla is righdy puzzled by die documentary evidence. Aldiough San Pedro himself complained of Cárcel de amor s enormous appeal,3 die meager evidence in private libraries challenges this assumption and disagrees widi the number of editions and translations into odier languages traditionally cited to substantiate Cárcel's success. Cárcel, de amor left no trace in die book inventory of Queen Isabel's library nor in any odier noble library ofher entourage (Parrilla, "La ficción sentimental " 21) although it is well-known diat the work was composed for die Isabelline court in die years immediately before die conquest of Granada. While for most of San Pedro's works, Parrilla postulates a female readership receptive to literary fashions (23), she acknowledges that Cárcel was written at the explicit request of the nobleman Diego Hernandes, alcaide de los donceles (prólogo to Cárcel de amor xliv). Exploring the literary and artistic fashions that appealed to the aristocratic readers of the Isabelline court may explain the cultural and material conditions oí Cárcel's writing. 1 See Margaret J.M. Ezell, Social Authorship and the Advent ofPrint. She states that, "a reader in a manuscript culture, with a fluid text constantly subject to change, is responsible for participating in literary production as well as consumption; it is interesting to note here, too, how often the role ofthe reader ofmanuscript text becomes conflated with the roles ofediting, correcting, or copying the text and extending its circulation ofreaders" <41)\- For the debate on the generic limits of the Sentimental Fiction, see the fourteen articles in the Critical Cluster "The Sentimental Romance" in La coránica 29. 1 (2000): 3-229, and the subsequent Forum with fourteen follow-up responses on the same theme in 3 1 .2 (2003): 237-31 9. An advance ofmv project appeared in La coránica as "Chivalric Identity in Enrique deViWena s Arte cisoria". 1 San Pedro repented from the frivolous writings of his youth in a later poem, "Desprecio de la Fortuna" (ca. 1498), where he regrets that Cárcel de amor "no tuvo en leerse calma". Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readets at Work9 The "prayer-book" mentality Jeremy Lawrance coined die term "vernacular humanism" for die translations of the classics diat became so popular in die Iberian Peninsula during the fifteenth century. He claims that the fictional character Curial, a warrior familiar with classical literature, in fact reflects a social reality of noble lay readers ("On Fifteenth-century Spanish Humanism " 64-65). His conclusion diat the aristocracy developed a keen fondness for reading is indisputable, but it is more important to emphasize his observation that their tastes veered toward ancient history and moral philosophy or, as he apdy explains, toward texts diat provided "solace and consolation" ("The Spread of Lay Literacy" 90). Furthermore, diey disliked scholarly marginalia, as Ruy López Dávalos indicates in a letter to die translator of Boethius into Castilian (81). They were "lazy readers", as Enrique de Villena says in his translation of and commentary on the Aeneid, widi little patience for academic subdeties but eager to spend dieir leisure time in texts thatwere "rooted in dieir actual living conditions" (90). An oustanding example of the Castilian gentry's literary tastes is evinced by the book collection that Pedro Rodriguez de Velasco, first Count of Haro, donated in 1455 to die Hospital de la Vera Cruz.4 In this library, chivalric romances and treatises on nobility share shelf space widi Franciscan mystical works, such as die Meditaciones de la Pasión, a mixture that Lawrance terms "sacro-militar" and diat is representative of die period's cultural milieu ("Nueva luz" 1076-77). Odier inventories ofnoble libraries confirm diis perspective. Along with die expected chivalric novels and pious books, Boefhius's Consolation ofPhUosophy occupies an eminent position.5 Furfhermore, when we consider sixteenth-century best-sellers, die picture is not greatiy altered. Whinnom states diat "Golden-Age printing [was] dominated by prose non-fiction, devotional, moralizing and historical works" ("Problem of the best-seller in Spanish Golden-Age Literature" 194) 4 The hospital was an institution devoted to the support oftwelve old hidalgos and the care ofthe sick and poor in the area (Lawrance, "Nueva Luz sobre la biblioteca del conde de Haro" 1074). 5 Isabel Beceiro Pita, "Los libros que pertenecieron a los condes de Benavente, entre 1434 y 1530"; Beceiro Pita and Alfonso Franco Silva, "Cultura nobiliar y bibliotecas: cinco ejemplos, de las postrimerías del siglo XIV a mediados del XVI"; M.A. Ladero Quesada and M. C. Quintanilla Raso, "Bibliotecas de la alta nobleza castellana en el siglo XV". 10Sol Miguel-PrendesLa coránica 32.2, 2004 and Sarah Nalle notes that manuals for private devotions remained immensely popular.6 The material evidence from art history demonstrates the same religious taste. Retablos decorating aristocratic burial chapels proliferated during the age of the Catholic Monarchs (Yarza Luaces 240). These multipaneled altarpieces sat behind and above die altar" and depict scenes from die lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary and symbolic representations, such as die Cross, Mary's Sorrows, or Christ as Man of Sorrows. Analogous images embellish the devotional books owned by the Castilian gentry. The Misal Rico of the Mendoza family and the book known as Libro de Horas de Alonso de Zúñiga, now in die Escoriai, arejust two examples of prayer books, owned by members of the aristocracy, which are decorated in the late-Gothic style ofFlanders. This style was favored in the religious paintings and richly illuminated books commissioned by Queen Isabel (Yarza Luaces 94-95). If die literary and artistic preferences of aristocratic circles are clearly oriented toward religious devotion, a question arises regarding fheir reading practices. C. Harbison has studied Flemish aristocrats who commissioned works of art. He notes diat, like die Castillans, devotional texts and Books of Hours constituted their primary personal and communal reading. Devotional books were read "contemplatively " according to a mediod diat "emphasized the need for a direct, vivid, visual re-enactment ofChrist's life on earth ... [and] encouraged die devout to focus dieir attention so that they might truly be present at certain moments ofChrist's life". Paintings and miniatures illustrate diis modus operandi and often show an inviting, open prayer book in the foreground and a scene from Christ's life in the background ("Visions and Meditations" 87, 95). A portrait ofa wealfhy nobleman now at El Prado evinces die same reading practice in late-medieval Castile. It is part of the Sopetrán altarpiece, dated after 1460. The sitter is supposed to be the powerful Duque del Infantado, kneeling at his prie-dieu, where a small book lies open, but his gaze is directed toward an altarpiece depicting a Crucifixion scene in die banco, or predella, and an image of the Virgin 6 One third ofthe books stocked by the printer Guillermo Remón between 1528 and 1 544 were devotional, precisely the titles identified by Whinnon as the century's best-sellers: Garcia de Cisneros's Exercitatoiio de la vida espiritual, Kempis's Contemplas Mundi, Ludolfof Saxony's Vita Christi, St. Vincent Ferrer's sermons, books explaining the mystery ofthe mass, artes moriendi, lives ofthe Virgin, and books ofhours (Nalle 82, 86). ' Judith Berg Sobré explains that the word retablo comes from the Latin "retro tabulum", meaning behind the (aitai ) table" (3). See also Yarza Luaces 163 andJ.R. Buendia. Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work1 1 and child surrounded by smaller panels impossible to identify (Yarza Luaces 253). The prie-dieu, the prayer book, and the small altarpiece, probably located in his personal chapel or oratory, constitute the apparatus of private devotion designed for use outside the liturgical setting of a church's main altar (Williamson 380). While art historians accept that Renaissance influence in Spain at the end of the fifteenth century was not very strong and that the dominant artistic trend at the court of the Catholic Monarchs was die lateGothic style of Flanders, which was associated with the emotional spirituality of the Modern Devotion (devotio moderna), literary scholars have tried to identify a Renaissance or humanist flavor in works like Cárcel.6 Instead, diey are clearly related to social circles whose way of diinking can be best described as a "prayer-book mentality", a phrase coined by Harbison to describe the mindset of the Flemish patrons and donors who displayed such a strong desire to participate imaginatively in die Passion of Christ that they commissioned panel paintings recording their own visionary experiences (Harbison, "Visions and Meditations"). Whinnom demonstrated diat there is no direct knowledge of the devotio moderna in Spain before 1496 and no documentary evidence for one of its most famous texts, die Vita Christi of Ludolf the Saxon (or, 'the Cardiusian'), in Castile before die 1490s. Yet die contemplation of Christ's life (Contemplatio huma.nitatis Christi), presented as an illuminating and purgative act for the ordinary man, was one of the most distinctive manifestations of the Franciscan reform. It found its way into four, long, versified narratives of the life ofChrist in Castilian that appeared in print in die 1470s and 1480s, loosely based on the Meditaliones vitae Christi by Juan de Caulibus (c. 1346-c. 1364): Comendador Roman's Trovas de la. gloriosa pasión (c. 1485) and his Coplas de la pasión con la resurrección (I486?), Montesino's Coplas sobre diversas devociones y misterios de nuestra, santa fe católica (c. 1485), and Diego de San Pedro's Pasión trovada, composed ca. 1480 and printed some time before 1492.9 The religious lyric poetry of cancionero compilations and some theatrical pieces that Pedro Cátedra labels 8 See the latest formulation in Parrilla: "En lo que tiene de cuestionamiento y especulación de una nueva cultura de los afectos, podría tomarse como un sueño humanista que se asoma a las páginas de aquellas obrillas que hoy bautizamos como sentimentales" ("La novela sentimental en el marco de la instrucción retorica" 1 7). 9 See Whinnon, "The Supposed Sources". For a review ofthe passional tradition and an analysis ofvarious instances ofpassion literature in the Castilian context, see Pedro M. Cátedras exhaustive study Poesía depasión en la Edad Media. 12Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 "paralitúrgicas", such as Alonso del Campo's/4wío de la Pasión or some plays by Lucas Fernández and Encina, are just anodier expression of the intense religious atmosphere of spiritual renewal that predates and coincides widi die ascendancy ofdie Queen's Franciscan confessor, FranciscoJiménez de Cisneros.10 The proliferation of portable prayer books used in affective devotion is closely related to die evolution of reading habits in die late medieval period, in particular die advent ofsilent reading (Paul Saenger, "Books of Hours" 142). Furdiermore, die transition from oral to silent reading had profound cultural ramifications. "The new privacy gained through silent reading . . . intensified ordiodox devotional and spiritual experiences . . . [and] played an important role in die spirituality of the reformed mendicants in the Fifteenth century" ("Silent Reading" 40 1).11 The framework ofdie "prayer-book mentality" informs both Cárcel's readership and die work itself as a vision or meditation on die sufferings of its protagonist, the noble Leriano, madly in love widi Princess Laureola. They are articulated in terms of a Passion of Christ12 and, like die Flemish paintings, depict die visionary experience of Diego Hernandes, die nobleman who petitioned San Pedro to write die work for his pleasure and that of"otros cavalleros cortesanos". These courdy readers were not only consumers but active participants in Cárcel's production as social authors. 10FranciscoJiménez de Cisneros (1436-1517) became Isabel's confessor in 1492 and Archbishop ofToledo in 1495. In 1507, he became both Inquisitor General and a cardinal . Under his "tutelage portions ofthe Scriptures and numerous devotional and mystical works were translated into Spanish and distributed to convents and monasteries" (Alison Weber, Teresa ofAvila and the Rhetoric ofFemininity). The time, as Ronald Surtz reminds us, "was especially propitious for all sorts ofextraordinary religious phenomena" (The Guitar ofGod, 2). 11This article is reproduced in Space Between Words. '- Leriano's Christ-like nature and the analogy of his sufferings to a Passion were noticed early on by critics such as Bruce Wardropper, Bruno Damiani, Keith Whinnom's "Cardona", andJoseph F. Chorpenning's "Leriano's Consumption ofLaureolas Letters in the Cárcel de amor", who traces some biblical sources for Cárcel. Because I do not think that it is possible to establish a direct correspondence between Leriano and the figure of Christ as it appears in the Gospels, Chorpenning's analysis is not entirely convincing. More Fitting for this article's purpose is Anna Krause's connection oiCdrcel's expression and mystic writing: "Al hacer de la angustia del incumplimiento —que muero porque no muero— el tema básico de sus obras, Diego de San Pedro anticipa en su retórica galante la terminología que los místicos del siglo próximo habían de emplear al describir su inefable aspiración a la divinidad" (269-70). It is sufficient to note that Leriano's sufferings are articulated in religious terms, as Parrilla ("La ficción sentimental") and Dorothy Sherman Severin ("The Sentimental Genre: Romance, Novel, or Parody?") maintain. Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work13 One of Cárcel's most obvious characteristics is die importance of feelings. Since Menéndez Pelayo assigned die modifier sentimental to these romances in 1905, it has defined the genre. Barbara F. Weissberger argues that the adjective reveals a patriarchal ideology of gender -and genre- that identifies sentimental romance as feminine, private, and interior as opposed to chivalric romance, which is diought of as masculine, public, and exterior. This gendered taxonomic division of late-medieval Iberian romance has determined critical approaches up to die present. Aldiough I fully agree widi Weissberger's sociological analysis of early twentieth-century Spanish scholarship, I would like to open another inquiry into the term sentimental from a medieval horizon of expectations. I am following die patii forged by Keidi Whinnom in 1974, who insisted diat Cárcel's opening allegory must be analyzed widiin die framework of the arts of memory. I propose to extend that context to analyze San Pedro's creative process, die rhetorical inventio, as a meditation or vision, the product of an act of contemplation diat relies on the recollection of previous texts and images.13 Cárcel's reading requires anodier act ofcontemplation, similar to the one illustrated in the Duque del Infantado's portrait: die private , silent reading of a text fhat leads to a visual re-enactment of Christ's torments with the help of a retablo. I am not trying to revive Enrique Moreno-Báez's Panofskian analogy , comparing Cárcel's structure to a Gothic cafhedral,14 but instead to ascertain the modes of communication shared by San Pedro, who was likely trained at the University ofSalamanca, and his courtly readers .15 Pedro Cátedra has demonstrated that the parodie amatory treatises composed within Salamancan academic circles are strongly connected to the court of die Cadiolic Monarchs.16 My analysis supports the parodie nature of sentimental fictions but also stresses their traditional inventive techniques. The private, inner journeys 13In Whinnom's posthumous article, "Cardona, the Crucifixion, and Leriano's Last Drink", edited by Alan D. Deyermond for Studies in the Spanish Sentimental Romance, he states that, "Juan de Cardona's use o{Cárcel de amor, only two generations after San Pedro wrote his romance, lends some support to the hypothesis that early readers may have looked for analogies no further afield than the literature ofthe Passion" (212-13). 14See Moreno Baez's prologue to his edition ofCárcel, 18-35. 15Although there is no documentary evidence, Whinnom presumes from San Pedro's elaborate style that he studied rhetoric in Salamanca ("Diego de San Pedro's Stylistic Reform" 15), and most critics agree on the key role that rhetoric plays in Cárcel. 16See Amory pedagogía en la Edad Media (Estudios de doctrina amorosa ypráctica literaria) and Del Tostado sobre el amor. Also Severin, "Audience and Interpretation" and "The Sentimental Genre: Romance, Novel, or Parody?". 14Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 undertaken by sentimental heroes are a product of the prayer-book mentality common to the three intellectual groups that Guillermo Seres identifies as comprising vernacular humanist circles as well as the sentimental genre's readership: "el universitario, el alto clero y el curial culto letrado" ("La llamada ficción sentimental" 13). Similarly, E. Michael Gerii places Siervo libre de amor within the larger medieval penitential tradition by identifying its old French source in Le Rommant des trois pèlerinages and questions analogies to Dante, Boccaccio, and Virgil as "equivocal" ("Old French Source" 18). 17 What all diese auctores -also cited by critics as possible sources for Cárcel- have in common widi vernacular humanists and their reading preferences is the rhetorical craft of contemplation. The rhetorical craft of contemplation Prayerful reading, or contemplation diat stressed memorization as a means ofspiritual progress, was an essential part ofmedieval teaching and learning. It is the rhetorical craft of making thoughts by continuously reading and reflecting on the Scriptures and dien building ideas into superstructures on their foundation, as Mary Carruthers explains in The Craft of Thought.18 Contemplation is also an art for composing "in terms of making a 'way' among 'places' or 'seats'". These "places" were generally stories taken from the Bible or related sources such as hagiography, and "The trope of 'steps' or 'stages' was commonly applied to the affective, emotional 'route' that a meditator was to take in die course of such composition..." (60). Carruthers's study does not go beyond the twelfth century but in her 2002 anthology of mnemotechnical texts, she states: "Later in the 1 ' See also Eukene Lacarra Lanz's interpretation in "Siemo libre de amor «autobiografia espiritual?". 18 See also the Henri de Lubac's classic study Exégèse medievale. For a useful survey, see Roberta D. Cornelius, The Figurative Castle. For its use in sixteenth-century Spain, Joseph F. Chorpenning, "The Literary and Theological Method ofthe Castillo interior" and "The Monastery, Paradise, and the Castle: Literary Images and Spiritual Development in St Teresa ofAvila". George Lakoffand MarkJohnson's linguistic investigations show that the act of 'building' is still a widespread metaphor for thinking in modern English. It equals theories and arguments with buildings; for instance in such expressions as, the 'foundation' ofa theory, 'constructing' a strong argument, the argument 'collapsed', we need to 'buttress ' the theory with solid arguments, etc. (46). Similarly in Spanish, la 'base' de una teoría, basar' un argumento sobre hechos, 'construir' oraciones, 'construcciones' gramaticales, la teoría 'se cae por su peso', las razones para 'apoyar' la teoría. Reimagining Diego de San Pedm's Readers at Work15 Middle Ages memory lost none ofits urgency, but what was considered essential to remember took on somewhat different contours". As a consequence of the reforms brought about by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), regular canons and the newly founded mendicant orders revived oral rhetoric for homiletic purposes (The Medieval Craft of Memory 21-22). The Victorines' great iconographie schemes, such as Hugh ofSt Victor's Didascalicon, were popularized by the friars so that with them, the art of memory "entered again into its original sphere, for these itinerant preachers used the art for rhetorical purposes. They preached. They also realized a closer connection with the moral dimension , for dieir art of memory concerned die memory of virtues and vices" (Zinn 232). Contemplation and its mnemonic techniques, previously restricted to a religious elite, were made available to the laity. The Franciscans in particular adopted die craft to contemplate visually -diat is, silentlyon the life of Christ. They relished the pictorial qualities of monastic meditation that coincided in many respects with the old memorial system described in the pseudo-Ciceronian Rhetorica ad Herennium, or Rhetorica nova, as it was known.19 Besides recommending the construction of architectural sites, real or imaginary, in which to place the contents to be remembered, both monastic meditation and the Ad Herennium advise that these contents be imagines agentes; diat is, shocking , active images, widi a theatrical quality to trigger recollection. Vernacular humanists practiced contemplation, die craft associated witii literary composition, as a recollectivejourney through other texts or places stored in memory to retrieve subjects and to create original compositions (the two meanings of the word inventio [Latin invenire: to find and to invent]). An early instance is Enrique de Villena's translation of, and commentary on, Virgil's Aeneid. I contend in El espejo y el piélago diat Villena's glosa is, in fact, the romance of a Christian hero, typified by Aeneas. The hero's trips -the motif of diejourney— allow Villena to revisit all his memorial sites and translate them into a Castilian Aneid adapted to the needs of his aristocratic friends and patrons. Contemplation is also the iisus scribendi that Seres identifies in one of the first and defining sentimental fictions, Don Pedro de Portugal's 19 The Victorine canons revitalized its use to help the memorizing ofsermons. See Jean-Philippe Antoine, "Mémoire, lieux et invention spatiale". For its incidence in the Iberian Peninsula, see Faulhaber "Rhetoric in Medieval Catalonia". Enrique de Villena translated theAd Herennium into Castilian around 1428 at the request ofsome noblemen. This translation is now lost. 16Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 Sátira de infelice efelice vida (its Castilian version appeared after 1453). Serés cleverly analyzes the work as an andiology ofclassicist commonplaces , drawn from a translation of the author/protagonist's program of study.20 It includes the expected auctores: Virgil, Ovid, Boethius, Dante, Boccaccio, etc., common to university and noble libraries. However, I disagree with Seres that Don Pedro's mythological erudition -or that of any other vernacular humanist for that matter- indicates "modernity", which I take to mean humanistic influence. The use of mythological images isjust another memorial -that is, visual- procedure of"die craft of thought", as Beryl Smalley's always useful study on the English "classicizing" friars demonstrates. It is still important to underscore Serés's suggestion diat the appetite for translations of the classics in fifteenth-century Iberia and die emergence of die sentimental genre are closely connected. The pictorial qualities ofcontemplation also found plastic expression in Iberian retablos.^ Their structure was more or less formalized by 1360. Judith Berg Sobré describes diem: [A] central post ... wider and higher than the odiers ... dominated by a large image, sometimes sculpted but more often painted, depicting the saint to whom the altarpiece was dedicated . Above this effigy was often a painting of Christ on the cross. Flanking these images were additionalposts that pictured scenes from the life ofdie principal saint, sometimes combined with episodes from the childhood and martyrdom ofChrist. ... The banco corresponds in position of die Italian predella. It too was divided symmetrically, the center frequently ... occupied by the eucharistie image of die dead Christ in his tomb, with die balance occupied by images ofsaints, scenes ofChrist's Passion, or occasionally additional narrative episodes dealing with the principal saint. Large retables sometimes also had a sotabanco, or narrow strip below the banco, embellished widi prophets or other figures in small roundels, widi decorative 20 It is interesting to note that the term "tractatus", associated with some ofthe sentimental fictions, is derived from tractare, a medieval Latin word for composing by "acts ofremembering, mnemonic activities which pull in or "draw" (Carruthers, The Craft of Thought 70). -' Testimonies describe actual performances, very theatrical, in which the preacher used the aitai pieces as visuals (Fernando J. Bouza Alvarez, Comunicación, conocimiento y memoria en ?a España de los siglos XVl y XVII). Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work17 gilded quatrefoils, or, particularly in Castile, widi an inscription naming the donors. (6-7) Not all the images in a retablo had the same quality. Sobré identifies two types, symbolic and narrative. The former, generally die saint's central effigy, Christ's crucifixion, and the eucharistie images of the banco, were to be contemplated, while die episodes depicting the life of the saint or Christ were to serve as instruction (Behind the Altar Table 167, 188). Paul Crossley maintains that altars and their altarpieces generated "meditational centres, what might be called sequential patterns of thought, triggers for die ordered exercise ofintellection and memory" (cited in Williamson 371). Retablos possess a narrative dimension as well, in the sense that they require a mnemotechnical perambulation about the different panels, which demands a form of temporal progression .22 The viewing of an altarpiece is a mental walk dirough symbolic images and biblical or hagiographie "places"; diat is, standard stories narrated in images placed, as in Trecento Italian art, in "a series of sites spatially ordered" (Antoine 1458). The practice relies on memories evoked by signs that trigger doctrinal or dieological points or narrative images of ethical or heroic Christian behavior. Contemplation is the craft that builds up these mental constructions. The revival of die contemplative craft at the court of the Cadiolic Monarchs is evidenced by the success of the versified lives of Christ, including the one composed by San Pedro. Their narrative technique is analogous to that of retablos: a memorial journey through biblical sources, or "sites", delayed by moments of emotional contemplation that produce imaginative reconstructions ofhighly symbolic scenes. As Whinnom noted, San Pedro's Passion trovada uses amply the command contempla and its visual equivalents mira and ve ("Supposed Sources" 278-79). Most interesting for my argument, Saenger observes that diese terms were used in aristocratic vernacular texts as synonyms for private silent reading ("Silent Reading"407), which stresses the iconographie role assigned to die reading of diese lives and contradicts die idea that San Pedro's Pasión was initially meant to be performed in "-This position lias been argued byJ.-P. Antoine for Italian pictorial art: "the changeable perspectives ofTrecento painting reflect a mnemotechnical perambulation about the picture-space" (1458-1459) and Carruthers adds that "in order to grasp the perspective ofthese Trecento pictures, however, one must 'walk about' in them - and that necessitates a form oftemporal progression" (The Craft ofThought 354 ? 7. In spite ofthe obvious stylistic differences, the same memorial perambulation applies to the viewing ofa retablo. 18Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 public. As Saenger points out, the new privacy afforded by silent reading stimulated a revival of the antique genre oferotic art ("Silent Reading 412). Viewed in diis light, regardless of subsequent developments, we may assume diat Ea pasión was supposed to be read in private by the lovely nun to whom it is addressed, with obvious erotic undertones diat would receive full-blown narrative structure in CárcelP Contemplative reading and inventive techniques can explain the sudden, gruesome descriptions of Christ's torments and horrific details both in San Pedro's Pasión and the visual arts of the Isabelline period, while until this date, artists exhibited "an aversion to the more graphic and brutal aspects of the Saviour's Passion".24 The violence displayed in diese images does not (or, at least is not intended to) reflect a morbid inclination but instead points to a new religious sensibility based on die old technique of using strange images to aid recollection . To the dismay ofmoralists, licentious scenes are as memorable as die spilling ofChrist's blood -the always best-selling duet ofsex and violence— and by the end of the fifteenth century, thanks to the new privacy afforded by silent reading, "artists decorated books of hours widi increasingly suggestive erotic scenes, often ostensibly depicting the vices for which penance was required but consciously intended to excite the voyeur ofthe book" (Saenger, "Books ofHours" 156).25 Cárcel's parodie nature and highly emotional tone fit well within the parameters of this type of visual reading. Cárcel's contemplative structure Cárcel's narrative structure is strikingly similar to an altarpiece. It opens widi an allegory that gives the work its title. The narrator, named el Auctor (the Author), is returning home through the Sierra Morena after the summer's fighting. In die middle of a wilderness, he encounters a fearsome knight, dressed in skins, who carries on his left arm a -3 Dorothy Severin traced the parallels between La pasión and other European medieval dramas ('"La Passion trobada' de Diego de San Pedro y sus relaciones con el drama medieval"). See also Whinnom and Seveí ins introduction to Vol. 3 ofSan Pedro's Obras completas. -4 Cynthia Robinson "Looking for the Crucifixion II. Passion Problems in LateMedieval Iberia", personal e-mail 25 Saenger indicated that "erotic scenes developed particularly as frontispieces to Book IX ofthe French translation ofValerius Maximus, Facta and dicta memorabilia" ("Books of Hours" 156), a manuscript frequently listed in the inventories ofCastilian noble libraries. Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work19 steel shield and in his right a striking stone carving representing a beautiful woman radiating fire. The flames drag a prisoner who begs the Auctor to help him. The narrator confronts die ferocious warrior and learns that his name is Deseo, chiefofficer of Love. He keeps away hope with his shield; the beauty of die stone image causes afflictions; and with them both, he burns lives. He is taking a captive to die in the prison of love. The pair disappears, and the Auctor spends a sleepless night. The following morning, he sees the prison on a mountain peak. He climbs to the tower, enters, and sees die prisoner ceaselessly burning in a chair of fire, subjected to all kinds of torture. Two weeping ladies wait on the wretched figure, crowning him with metal spikes. Aldiough the tableau takes place in complete darkness, the Auctor is able to see with the help of an intense light emanating from the prisoner's heart. He is Leriano, son of the Duke Guersio and die Duchess Coieria of Macedonia and in love with Princess Laureola, daughter of King Gaulo. The prisoner proceeds to explain die meaning of die odd scene to the narrator. This love allegory, as explained by Leriano, is very similar to the devotional image of the Man of Sorrows and corresponds to the symbolic central post in an altarpiece. It is flanked by narrative panels in which Leriano asks theAuctor for help in winning over Laureola's heart, an epistolary exchange between Laureola and Leriano, and the false accusations, duels, and assaults. There is also a secondary allegory in which the Auctor, widi a battalion of "Contentamiento y Esperança y Descanso y Plazer y Alegría y Holgança" [Content and Hope and Ease and Pleasure and Mirth and Bliss]26 puts up a fight to liberate Leriano from hisjailers, which is highly reminiscent of a psychomachia.27 Laureola refuses to return his love and Cárcel ends widi Leriano on his deadibed, delivering an elaborate defense ofwomen and ingesting Laureola's letters, torn into pieces, in a glass ofwater. Much has been written about diis last scene.28 I side with Whinnom in believing diat 26 1 cite both from Parrilla's edition (29) and Whinnom's translation (29). -' AdolfKatzenellenbogen, Allegories ofthe Viñues and Vices, documents the motifofthe triumph ofthe virtues as a variation on the theme ofPatientia led bvJob in Psychomachia (15)'„ -8 Interpretations range from suicide to martyrdom, including punishment of a sinner and an act ofrevenge. See Chorpenning "Consumption", Gerii "Leriano's libation", Ynduráin "Las cartas de Laureola", Leonardo Funes and Carmen de la Linde "Cartas bebidas por Leriano", Marina Brownlee, The Severed Word, Harriett Goldberg "Cannibal- 20Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 the resemblances between Leriano's deadi and the deadi of Christ cannot be ignored.29 Whinnom also points out Severin's parallels between the lament of Leriano's modier and die laments of die Virgin in San Pedro's earlier Passion trovada ("From the Lamentations") and states diat "with all the early Franciscans the Passio Christi and Compassio Mariae are inextricably intertwined" ("Supposed Sources" 278). Leriano's last scene, therefore, along with his mother's lament, are equivalent to the eucharistie image that most altarpieces place in the center ofdie banco, while the gallery of virtuous women in his deathbed speech corresponds to the images ofprophets that adorn the sotabanco and support the dieological edifice of the religio amorL·. The function of this narrative structure, as in an altarpiece, is simultaneously celebrating a contrafacta Eucharist and venerating a courtly hero.30 The initial love allegory, as Whinnom explains, is an old and versatile rhetorical device. First of all, San Pedro conveys his ideas on die psychology of love through a plastic representation that appealed to contemporary Castilian taste, as the success of Dante and Iñigo López de Mendoza's love allegories indicates. It provides a useful language for understanding and appreciating the discourse of love and sets the tone for the whole story, indicating that die work is meant to be solemn and artistic. Finally, die blurred line between die world ofideas in the initial "perfect" allegory that the narrator sets in Spain and the world ofevents diat take place in Macedonia, widi which die allegorical episodes interfere, gives die whole Cárcel de amor a dream atmosphere.31 Whinnom's fine sensibility clearly perceived die allegory's productive role. The description of the prison of love is an old rhetorical ornament called ekphrasis, which describes a work of art or architecture , imagined or real, in order to "paint ideas" in the public's mind. It possesses the quality of brexritas that holds within itself an abundance, or copia; diat is, the possibility to be expanded into multiple interpretations . Carruthers explains how ekphrasis was used in Scriptural exism in Iberian Narrative", Alexander Parker Tlie Philosophy ofLove, and Ian Michael "Spanish Literature and Learning". -9 I agree with Whinnom that the most likely sources for the episode, which are an interpretive key for the whole work, are the Crucifixion, Ezekiel, the Mass, and the artes moriendi (Whinnom "Cardona, the Crucifixion, and Leriano's Last Drink"). 30I am rephrasing Williamson on the function of the altar on which the Iberian, English, and Italian altarpieces sit: "The function ofthe altar is simulaneously a site for the celebration of the Eucharist and for the veneration ofsaints" (372) 31See Whinnom's introduction to his edition of Cárcel de amor in Vol. II ofSan Pedro's Obras completas, 49-52. Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work21 egesis to paint in one's mind die Heavenly City and how diis activity was commonly associated widi die creative act of making a temple of the heart. In die early thirteendi century, Geoffrey Vinsauf, following this inventive model, described in his Poetria nova "how a poet should set to work on die model of an architect" (The Medieval Crafl ofMemory 6). However, from the beginning, the church fathers were fully aware ofthe craft's inherent dangers and frequendy cautioned against "mental painting for immoral purposes" (The Craft ofThought 134), an activity diat the advent of silent, private reading in the later Middle Ages did nothing but encourage. San Pedro's allegory, as Barbara E. Kurtz aptly noted (136), is closer in design to religious treatments of figurative edifices mentioned in the Scriptures than to the secular French precursors first postulated by Post. In a parody of scholarly exegesis that stresses its most noticeable danger, San Pedro paints the prison building and expands die ekphrasis into his own interpretation, or literary creation, by making the prisoner Leriano explain die meaning of its components and the shocking images located in it -the imagines agentes- to the apprehensive narrator.32 The prison is built on die foundation of Leriano's faith and supported by four pillars: Understanding, Reason, Memory, and Will. Love consulted with them before casting Leriano's sentence, and they unanimously gave their consent to his suffering and eventual death. The prison guards are Misery and Indifference; the dark stair that leads to the chamber is Anguish. Desire first opens the door to all sadness and strips newcomers of their weapons, Relief, Hope, and Contentment; die second doorman is Torment. The burning chair is Leriano's Zeal, and the two ladies-in-waiting are Yearning and Passion. The ekphrasis of the building and its allegorical interpretation meshes devotional themes, the mocking of Christ, an Imago pietatis (Christ crowned with thorns surrounded by the symbols of his kingship ), and Christ being crucified by the virtues, an iconographie tradition that appears primarily in Northern manuscript illumination and that shows the angels as instruments of God's will.33 32Leriano explains the odd scene in the same way biblical exegetes explain the spiritual sense. See, for instance, Jerome's spiritual interpretation on Ezekiel's heavenly city (mentioned in Carruthers, The Crafl ofThought 33-34). 33William Hood notes that "ofthe twenty-five known representations ofthis subject [Christ being crucified by the virtues], which belongs primarily to the genre ofmanuscript illumination, only two are Italian" (Fra Angelico at San Marco 319, nn 18 and 19). 22Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 Like the central symbolic images of a retable, the ekphrasis in the love allegory not only paints an image in the reader's heart but, more important, functions as an "architecture for diinking", a cognitive image crafted by San Pedro to recall other texts on which to build die narration of Leriano and Laureola's unhappy love affair. The allegory and its ekphrasis appear in a clearly contemplative setting. In meditation, the initial stage, preliminary to invention - or prayer, is always characterized by a restless, anxious mood. It is the compunctio cordis, a self-induced state first outlined by Augustine diat consists of instigating a hair-raising fear by remembering one's sins or imagining one's own death (Carrudiers, The Crafl ofThought 96). This strong feeling of apprehensiveness is die first step to induce recollection of sins and meditative prayer, a prerequisite for invention. It is precisely the Auctoris state of mind when he first encounters the prisoner Leriano being dragged by Desire to the prison of love. The passage is worth citing: Allí comencé a maldezir mi ventura; allí desesperava de toda esperança; allí esperava mi perdimiento; allí en medio de mi tribulación nunca me pesó de lo hecho, porque es mejor perder haziendo virtud que ganar dexándola de hazer; y assi estuve toda la noche en tristes y trabajosas contenplaciones; y quando ya la lunbre del día descubrió los canpos, vi cerca de mí, en lo más alto de la sierra, una torre de altura tan grande que me parecía llegar al cielo; era hecha por tal artificio, que de la estrañeza della comencé a maravillarme. (6) Notice diat theAuctoris distress happens in the silence ofthe night, die time most appropriate for meditation, which he spends engaged in painstaking ruminations. As Carruthers indicates, "lying prostrate and weeping 'in silence' became a standard posture in die Middle Ages for all kinds of invention" (The Craft, of Thought 175). Immediately afterward , the Auctor finds -one of die meanings of inventio- illumination with the arrival of dawn. He sees die allegorical prison of love and notes its craft ("artificio") and its oddity ("estrañeza"). It is a literary pictura made ofshocking images -the imagines ageiües-wiüiin a background place -die casde- that helps him to develop die narrative. As Carrudiers remarks, "The notion diat acts ofcomposing began widi acts ofseeing, of vision, is common in monastic praxis" (The Craft ofThought 169). When Leriano elucidates the meaning of his torments to the afflicted Auctor, he asks him to calm down, "torna en ti tu reposo" and "sosiega tu juizio" (6), using technical terms which correspond to die Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work23 Latin quies. These terms connect directly widi the circumstances in which the meditation takes place: a calm body and mind in die quiet hours of die night, when daily problems seem to vanish, allowing consciousness to grasp human experience through representation. The process recalls die beginning of anodier meditation, Boethius's encounter with lady Philosophy in the Consolation, a textbook for university students that San Pedro knew thoroughly and a volume that frequently appears in the inventories of Castilian nobles' libraries.34 Obviously, it recalls Dante's Commedia as well, frequently cited as one of San Pedro's inspirations, which shares with Boethius and odier monastic meditations its inventive techniques. Deseo also addresses the Auctor at die beginning of the work as "caminante", indicating the compositional, spatial movement ofmeditation as a walk about memorial places. Throughout the romance the Auctor emotionally reflects on his role in telling a story lived by ofhers, like someone moving along the scenes or sites of Leriano's life as if along the panels ofan altarpiece. Louise M. Haywood has noticed that the typical narrative of sentimental romance bears some resemblance to a martyr's life, which points to a link between hagiography and romance ("What's in a Name?" 287). Hagiography is yet anodier genre of monastic meditation in which the saint'sjourney toward holiness is interspersed with constructive visions. The obvious similarities between Cárcel and a retablo do not necessarily imply that San Pedro had a particular altarpiece or even die compositional structure ofan altarpiece in mind while drafting Cárcel, even though later pieces like Juan de Padilla's Retablo de la pasión (ca. 1500) substantiate such a conceptual practice; its meditation begins widi contemplation of a painting of the suffering Christ diat Padilla describes in die prologue (Cátedra, Poesía de pasión 307). The affinities , radier, stem from a contemplative tradition shared by both the Salamanca-trained San Pedro and the Castilian upper nobility to whom the work is addressed. This ancient tradition -which Gerii restricts to its "penitential" side and I prefer to call contemplative, because it refers to the core discipline oílectio, the act of "reading as fhinking" for investigating ethical issues35- knits die web ofindirect stimuli diat Alan 34The prologue to the Desprecio defortuna reveals that San Pedro is well acquainted with Boethius. It was dedicated to his patron, Juan Téllez-Girón, who in his old age devoted his life to charity and reading the Consolation. 35See Brian Stock, "Reading, Writing, and the Self: Petrarch and His Forerunners" and "Reading, Ethics, and the Literary Imagination". As William Hodapp indicates, the meditation on the life ofChrist was based on lectio divina (246). 24Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 Deyermond presumes for die sentimental genre: Augustine's Confessions , Peter Abelard's Historia calamitatimi, and Boediius's Consolation.56 The role of rhetoric The love allegory is meant to engage emotions. Quintilian recommended the use of visiones to persuade, which led Chorpenning to interpret Cárcel as an oration in defense ofthepropositio fhat a woman's honor prevails over die life ofher lover ("Rhetoric and Feminism in die Cárcel de amor"). Retracting an earlier opinion, I agree with Haywood ("Apuntes" 1 7) diat Cárcel offers litde evidence to defend Chorpenning's division of it.37 Most likely, die devotional aim of affective contemplation -which affects personal experience and dierefore coincides with die ethical intention customarily assigned to literary works in the later Middle Ages- misled those critics, like myself, looking for traces of humanism in Cárcel's rhetoric into reading diat devotional aim as a propositio. 38 The undeniable persuasive intent in Cárcel can be also attributed to its memorial nature as a vision or meditation. Carrudiers explains that intention is an emotional attitude that "colors" each memory so tiiat it can be retrieved and placed next to odier memories to provide "sets of patterns or foundations upon which to construct any number of additional collations and concordances of material" (The Craft of Thought 16). Intention is, dien, an affective movement of the mind, similar to creative tension, that since Augustine has been called charity (The Craft of Thought 15). Cárcel distorts Christian charity into the perfect love for a woman diat befits those who worship at the altar of the religio amoris. It is an emotion that retrieves the psychology of courdy love and repositions it into a rhetorical architecture for fhinking -die casde- that is expanded into a narration. 36 Alan Deyermond, "Estudio preliminar", in Cárcel de amor, xii-xiii. 3' See Joseph F. Chorpenning, "Rhetoric and Feminism in the Cárcel de amor". I supported Chorpenning's position in "Las cartas de la Cárcel de amor". Other critics pointed out Cárcel's didactic intention as well, for instance Anna Krause, Bruno Damiani, and Esther Torrego. 38 For the moral aim ofall literary woks, see Judson Boyce Allen The Ethical Poetic of the Later MiddleAges . For intention as a scholarly exegetical and compositional category, see Minnis, Medieval Theories ofAuthorship, and Rita Copeland, Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and Translation. I analyze the role ofintention in vernacular literary creation in "Translation, Authority, and Authorship" and El espejo y el piélago. Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work25 Emotion also colors every memorial site —allegories, letters, duels, the defense ofwomen, and die modier's lament- into ajourney dirough a mock Passion Utat is supposed to stimulate devotion. Peter Dunn perceives very clearly its creative role in Cárcel: [T]he feelings operate in very diverse ways: by determining the motive for action; by creating a pattern in the character's inner life which is then set in some kind of relation with the world outside; as grounds for evaluating the actions of odiers; as terms in the conceptual structure of the narrative. ("Narrator as Character" 187) The presence of feelings is most obvious in the letters. Aldiough I obviously dissent from Haywood on the point of Cárcel's epistolary form, it is true diat the letters give die narration a certain coherence "como un contar de experiencias vitales del narrador" ("Apuntes" 17). They manipulate the reader's feelings into accepting the work's propositio, but having refined the aim of die propositio into rhetorical coloring and devotional intention, they perform a further emotional and structural role. Along widi the use of the allegorical vision, diey are part of the praxis of meditation, which focuses on verbal ornament , a technique inherited from Roman rhetoric, as a way of signaling a mood. San Pedro deploys in them the techniques oí cancionero lyric poetry, in particular die parallel positioning of contrasting concepts , which Roman Jakobson compares to "dynamic cutting" in film montage, "a type of cutting which ... uses die juxtaposition of contrasting shots or sequences to generate in the mind of the spectator ideas diat diese constituent shots or sequences by diemselves do not carry" ("Poetry of Grammar" 93).39 The letters resort to similar visual techniques to construct a mental architecture of courtiy love. In addition , diey provide a clever solution to the problem of narrating die characters' direct speech, which as eidier soliloquy or dialogue, is a characteristic of Franciscan preaching in die Meditationes vitae Christi,40 an insight into bofh Leriano and Laureola's minds. In sum, the emotional intention of its allegory and letters give Cárcel the rhetorical color that builds an affective meditation. It tells a very personal experience not of divine love but of "self-thwarting 39For the specific functioning ofthis technique in the letters, see my "Las cartas de la Cárcel de amor". 40Dorothy Severin indicates that San Pedro uses 973 stanzas ofdialogue in his Pasión travada. 26Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 libidinal desire".41 As Severin remarks, "If a moral is being drawn, it is that profane love leads to the sort of martydom which condemns the soul to Hell" ("Sentimental Genre" 313). The role oftheAuctor and contemplative authorship Analizing Cárcel as an emotional meditation on Leriano's sufferings leads me to die thorny problem of the Auctor and the pretense ofautobiography . His triple role as audior, narrator and as a character who mediates between Leriano and Laureola poses numerous critical problems .James Mandrell calls attention to theAuctoris unreliability in spite of the fact that he narrates with an authorial voice, but Haywood ("Apuntes") warns against Cárcel's illusion of conflating the historical San Pedro with the character. She sides widi Alfonso Rey's proposal to split die Auctoris role into "character witness" and "omniscient narrator " as an epistolary strategy both to narrate, as an actor, his own experiences and to evaluate them. Esther Torrego considers Cárcel a literary oration but still underscores the novelty of the Auctor as San Pedro's narrative tool to overcome the contradictory effects of fiction and explicit moral teaching.42 I contend diat Cárcel depicts a visionary experience, very likely that of die alcaide de los donceles, the patron who petitioned San Pedro to compose the work or, at least, if not Diego Hernandes's own vision, at least one with which he and the "otros cavalleros cortesanos" mentioned in die prologue could easily identify . Once again, a painting will illustrate my point. The donors'depiction within die work that diey commission is characteristic of die late-medieval pictorial art and reflects a prayer-book mentality. Monarchs customarily appear in retablos, as personal visions of dieir personal devotions as in the case of the Flemish patrons studied by Harbison. For instance, Fernando de Antequera, king of Aragón, kneels in prayer with Sancho Rojas, archbishop ofToledo, at die feet of the Virgin and 41See Eugene Vance's definition ofcourtly poetry as "an expression ofan equilibrium in conflicting desires in which satisfaction is an impossibility ... an aristocratic sign game that expresses pragmatically (rather than logically) a curious but subtle relationship of redundancy between nonsense in poetic language and self-thwarting libidinal desire" (Marvelous Signals: Poetics and Sign Theory in the Middle Ages 86-87). 42"Los aciertos de la Cárcel son inseparables del uso de este ardid narrativo sin el cual difícilmente hubiera superado Diego de San Pedro los efectos contradictorios de la ficción y de la explícita enseñanza moral" (331). Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work27 child in one ofthe diree main posts ofa large, multipaneled altarpiece now at El Prado.45 Isabel and Fernando, accompanied by dieir children , Juan and Isabel, appear in a side panel, praying and staring at the miracle of the Eucharist depicted in the central post of the retablo of the Capilla de los Corporales [Chapel of the Corporals] in the colegiata de Daroca (Zaragoza) (Yarza Luaces 79). This practice was not restricted to the monarchy. The portrait of the supposed Duque del Infantado is part of an altarpiece, and members of the clergy and die wealthy classes also appear depicted in dieir devotions. There are two panels of particular interest for my argument , since they represent Mary's fifth sorrow, most commonly known later on as a Piedad: Fernando Gallego's Piedad, of uncertain date and now at El Prado, and Bartolomé Bermejo's Pietà (1490) at die cadiedral of Barcelona. The subject was a feast, newly established by die Church in 1423, as Mary's Seven Sorrows, or die Seven Swords or Knives, as a series matched to her Seven Joys. Diego de San Pedro was one ofthe first Spanish poets to treat die subject in "Las siete angustias de Nuestra Señora", a poem included in Amalle and Lucenda. It was probably composed independendy soon after the Pasión trovada from which the author seems to have selected several engaging stanzas and completed diem widi new material (Whinnom, Diego de San Pedro 55-61 ). Fernando Gallego's Piedad depicts the tradititional group of Virgin and dead son and, kneeling to dieir left, die two donors, a woman and a man who utters the initial words of Psalm 50, "Miserere mei domine". Note diat the psalm verbalizes the compunctio cordis diat initiates any meditation. In this case, it is the greatest of the penitential psalms, one believed to have been written by David after sinning widi Bathsheba (Yarza Luaces 151). The Pietà, that Archdeacon Lluis Desplà, Canon of the Barcelona Cathedral, commissions Bartolomé Bermejo to paint for his private oratory is different. The painting was finished in 1490, so Bermejo was working on it around the same time as San Pedro was composing Cárcel.44 Desplà, a cultivated individual who frequented latinist circles and collected Roman antiquities, exhibits a taste as refined as the vernacular humanists who constitute die readership of sentimental fictions . Although there is no evidence that Desplà actually read any of 43For the political implications of Fernando de Antequera's Marian devotion, see Angus MacKay 956. 44All the information about the Pietà Desplà comes from Joan Molina i Figueras and John F. Moffit. 28Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 diem, his choice of iconography may demonstrate die artistic consequences of die prayer-book mentality that he shared with Castilian gentry and bring into focus apparent inconsistencies in Cárcel. Bermejo's large panel depicts "a grief-torn Mary lamenting over the stiffly rigid, gruesomely bloodied, body of her martyred son". Desplà kneels on the right, and "at die Virgin's right hand is St.Jerome, seemingly searching dirough his Vulgate translation of die Bible for consolation and inspiration" (Moffit 72-73). Molina i Figueras explains that the scene is a highly intellectualized meditation, a representation of a private devotional act: [Desplà] imagina, contempla y, finalmente, revive el dramático episodio de la Pasión a través del texto que está leyendo de San Jerónimo. Con su profunda sapiencia, el eximio doctor explica al arcediano barcelonés el sentido y significado de aquello que contempla con los ojos de su imaginación. Nada extraño hay en ello. Recordemos al respecto que buena parte de la sociedad del Cuatrocientos consideró las Epístolas de santo como un medio ideal para comprender muchas de las sentencias de las Escrituras. (143) In diis very private meditation, Desplà's presence at the Calvary is more than a mere convention. It reveals a common late-medieval meditational praxis diat blurs the lines between the contemplated site or place and die contemplator's personal experience, what Michael Camille, analyzing the glorious visions of Gothic art, calls die "spectacular interpénétration of image and viewer" that is lost with the arrival of Renaissance perspective (Glorious Visions 180-81). Moffit also explains diat the scene is set against die landscape of Catalunya, which becomes Calvary dirough typological transference, die same mechanism that converts Desplà into St. Francis at Monte Alverna (75).The old method offigurai reading expounded die events narrated in the Old Testament as foreshadowings, or types, of the New, but in affective piety, exegetical similitude is expanded into a timeless and intimate identification with Christ fhrough emotional remembrance. Moffit quotes St. Francis's Fioretti, the popular fourteen üi-century hagiographie andiology, where Monte Alverna becomes die landscape of Christ's last hours "because diere die Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ was to be renewed through love andpity in the soul of St. Francis" (74) [my emphasis]. Given Cárcel's parodie character, it is not too farfetched to apply the mechanism of typological transference to its landscape and narra- Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work29 tor. Notice diat Desplà's transference into St. Francis and, consequendy, Catalonia's into Mount Verna and die Calvary, are made possible by feelings of love and pity; that is, the compunctio cordis that initiates each act of meditation and diat Gallego's Piedad portrays in the words of die Psalmist, "miserere mei, Domine", articulated by the male donor . Emotions, then, trigger memories and color each of fhem in a movement toward die building of a personal vision. At the beginning of Cárcel, the Auctor is returning home through die Sierra Morena when the sight of Deseo dragging Leriano frightens him to deadi and moves him to compassion. He spends a sleepless night in despair before he finds the castie of love, die Sierra Morena now transformed into an allegorical Holy Land, where he contemplates die symbolic elements of Leriano's Passion, and later into a fictional Macedonia, a name reminiscent of chilvalric romance but also hagiography. TheAuctor, for his part, becomes any courtly witness who contemplates die torments brought about by the power of feminine beauty. Santiago Tejerina-Canal found die key to Cárcel's structural unity in the motif of tyranny and noticed diat the idea of die prison is everpresent in the work, a dieme which can be better understood from a devotional angle. The combined images of fierce Deseo and Leriano, portrayed as the Man of Sorrows, remind die beholder of past infatuations -the Auctor acknowledges that he had been able to understand die imagery in the past when he was in love45- encourage him to show compassion as in Gallego's Piedad, and emotionally participate in a scene that illustrates die eternal trudi of the power of physical desire over man.46 The transference of Cárcel's narrator into its donor begins by exploiting the topica of the exordium. Analyzing princely patronage and the economy ofdedication, cultural historian Roger Chartier explains that the dedication to the Prince -or, in Cárcel's case, to the alcaide de los donceles— does not simply represent an exchange between author and patron; "it is also a figure by means of which die prince seems himself praised as the primordial inspiration and the first author of the book that is being presented to him, as if the writer or the scholar 45"La moralidad de todas estas figuras me ha plazido saber, puesto diversas vezes las vi, mas como no las pueda ver sino coracón cativo, quando le tenia tal conoscíalas, y agora que estava libre dubdávalas" (12). 46The prison theme also permeatesJuan Ruiz's book oferotic adventures, asserted in the initial prayer asking God to deliver him fromjail and ease his miseries. 30Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 were offering him a work that was in fact his own (Forms and Meanings 42). This economy was explained in precise scholastic terms by Enrique de Villena in his dedication of die translation of, and commentary on, Virgil's Aeneid to the king of Navarra (1427). Juan II is praised as the "causa potísima ynsçitativa", or causa efficiens that brought about the work. Less scholarly in his terminology but still abiding by the same topics of the exordium, San Pedro secures his patron's benevolence by transferring to Don Diego Hernandes both the responsibility for the work ("verdad es que en la presente obra no tengo tanto cargo, pues me puse en ella más por necesidad de obedecer que por voluntar de escribir") and its final audiorship ("acordé endereçarla a vuestra merced porque la favorezca como señor y la emiende como discreto" [3]). The aristocratie readership is enlarged to die circle of Hernandes's friends by the mention of Doña Isabel de las Casas, modier of San Pedro's benefactor Juan Téllez-Girón, whose cousin was married to Diego Hernandes.4' The convention is carried on in the narrative. Diego Hernandes is not only co-creator of Cárcel as instigator and editor, but he appears wiüiin the work as Auctor just as Archdeacon Desplà appears at die right hand of Mary in a very intimate vision that is nonetheless painted by Bartolomé Bermejo. The story the Auctor tells is a courtier's experience of love. In addition, Diego Hernandes's visionary presence in Cárcel -or that ofany nobleman by affective identification- makes theAuctor character more apt for his narrative role. His political status as a member ofdie Spanish nobility grants him easy access to the court in Macedonia. The Auctor declares that very soon after he arrived at the court of Suria, he was as esteemed as any of the "mancebos cortesanos de los principales que allí veía" and has no problem whatsoever spending time alone with Princess Laureola, telling her about "las cosas maravillosas de España" (13). Even if it was not entirely implausible for a courdy poet like San Pedro, the easy familiarity with die Surian courtiers and their princess seems more fitting to members of the aristocracy like Diego Hernandes and his friends. The fact that the Auctor misreads Laureola indicates diat this meditation was written at the request of a man and for the benefit of his male friends. Cárcel's Auctor/donor experiences die confusion of any passionate lover who faces feminine irrationality and capriciousness: 41 For a thorough overview ofSan Pedro's biography and connections, see Pari ilia's introduction to her edition of Cárcel de amor. Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work31 Tanta confusión me ponían las cosas de Laureola, que quando pensava que más la entendía, menos sabía de su voluntad; quando tenía más esperança, me dava mayor desvío; quando estava seguro, me ponía mayores miedos; sus desatinos cegavan mi conocimiento. (22) In spite of die moribund Leriano's gallant praise of women, his conventional reasons cannot overcome the feelings of puzzlement and extreme anxiety that Laureola's indecisiveness in granting her favors creates throughout the work.43 The Auctor summarizes that emotion early on with an ellegant parallel clause redolent of cancionero lyrics: "en el recibir la carta me satisfizo; en el fin de su habla me desesperó" (22). Parrilla notes diat die sentimental fictions by Flores and San Pedro initiate a clear tendency to request an active participation from dieir readers. Conversely, those readers demand: [Verosimilitud y congruencia de lo que se cuenta, sea cual sea la complejidad de la fábula, lo que se determina en principio por medio de la figura y función de un narrador, que no siempre será, como en las primeras ficciones, el protagonista de la historia de amor sino un testigo veraz de los hechos que cuenta. ("La ficción sentimental" 23) I agree but wish to stress that the participation in Cárcel ofmale courtiers , already familiar with the effects of love, occurs by typological transference and emotional involvement.49 This participation occurs somehow outside time, in a "dream atmosphere", which is diegetically expressed by a narrative pace linked to the Auctoris subjective concept of time.50 Furthermore, the reader's participation has a productive rhetorical aim. Originating in the dedication's captatio benevolentiae, it anchors the narrative in reality, much as the historical setting of Peñafiel and 48For a highly enlightening analysis of male anxieties at the Isabelline court, see Weissberger's groundbreaking study Isabel Rides. To explain why "courtly elevation of women is not profeminist" she cites Alcum Blamires, The Casefor Women in Medieval Culture ; for the Spanish debate, Weiss "¿Qué demandamos de las mujeres?" (211. note 9). 49Louise Haywood perceives the Auctor's emotional transference when she states that "al encontrarse en el marco desconocido de Macedonia, el narrador experimenta su identidad como ajena a otra" (Apuntes" 19). 30 "[E]I narrador maneja el tiempo cronológico en función del ritmo: se detiene o acelera, no conforme a La realidad objetiva de lo sucedido, sino subjetivamente" (Torrego 337) 32Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 "la guerra del año pasado" -a place and event clearly related to San Pedro's benefactorJuan Tellez-Girón and his circle- to build a generic vision of masculine courtly love articulated as religious passion. As in some Flemish visions painted by Van Eyck "descriptive data were rearranged ... so that they illustrate not earthly existence but what he considered supernatural trudi" and artists go "to extraordinary lengths to portray [subjects] in natural terms, to conceive of an imaginary but eternal reality in perfectly understandable ways" (Harbison, "Realism and Symbolism in Early Flemish Painting" 589). Moffit views the "union of realism oí essential, or singularly characterizing , detail and an often highly stylized overall design and patterned setting" as "even now, one of die hallmarks of Spanish artistic vision" (71). This generalization is too sweeping for accuracy but it certainly describes the contemplative method at work in the monastic genre of visions (Boethius, Dante) and the sentimental romances inspired by its craft.Dl The concept of authorship as social practice is dierefore implied in the craft of contemplation and affective piety. Yet the concept can also be explored from another rhetorical angle since Cárcel, itself a meditation, is meant to encourage furtiier contemplation. Cárcel's inventive power Fernando Bonza, following the studies of Peter Burke, identifies three forms of communication in Early Modern Europe: the oral and die iconic-visual were the only options available to die majority, while the written mode was limited to a literate minority who also shared the oral and iconic-visual modes (Del escribano 26-27). Diego de San Pedro belonged to the literate minority. Antonio Cortijo Ocaña observes that, likeJuan de Flores, San Pedro was among die men of letters and bureaucrats at the service of literate noblemen at the Isabelline court (La. evolución, genérica 1 64). Cárcel's success among die nobility and younger women, die latter indirecdy substantiated by Luis Vives's indictment, but also among Salamancan schoolmen, such as Fernando de Rojas who owned a copy, may be attributed to its appeal to any of the three modes. Leriano's consumption of Laureola's '' For the method at work in other vernacular visions, see Enric Dolz-Ferrer, "Siervo libre de amor: entre la alegoría y la anagogia", which, building on Gerli's inclusion ofSiervo in the penitential tradition, identifies its Franciscan affiliation as an Itinerarium mentis adDeum. Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work33 letters will illustrate my point. Critics have been righdy puzzled by its irreverent tone as a sacramental communion.Joseph F. Chorpenning, so well versed in biblical studies, found a link between the scene and Ezekiel's "eating of the precious scrolls, which he found as sweet as honey", but E. Michael Gerii objected that this precedent "could not have been widely known" (cit. in Whinnom, "Cardona, the Crufixion" 212). I agree fhat the reference would have gone unnoticed among courtly readers but wonder if a more subtle irony was addressed to readers from more professional settings. In scholastic circles, die link between remembering and digesting was commonplace. Carrudiers mentions "the motif, found in both Ezequiel and John's Apocalypse, of the visionary 'eating die book' as a prelude to a vision of heaven, [and] Ezequiel also became ill ... when he experienced his visions" (The Craft of Thought 180). Read in this context, Leriano's consumption of Laureola's letters could be a dramatized literalization for readers themselves tearfully consuming San Pedro's work as a prelude to their own meditations. The sweetness of the letters, in spite of their poisonous content, hints at its memorial nature as "food for diought", the old monastic metaphor of invention, and as pleasant poetic activity : "cellula quae meminit est cellula deliciarum".52 The consumption of the letters is a parodie performance of the Eucharist as a literary creation that begins with the rumination on other texts. The literate minority took San Pedro's cue. We know at least of one certain meditation —Nicolás Nunez's continuation oí Cárcel de amor- and very likely Roja's Celestina, whose "contemplative" writing techniques have been hinted at by Peter E. Russell as a "floresta de filosophos".53 San Pedro and Rojas share the misogynist bias diat bonds university students as a social group, relating women to irrational animals in dieir works.54 In that sense, Cárcel may bejust another illustration of Pedro de Torrellas's injunction in his Maldezir de mujeres that, "He who loving well pursues ladies destroys himself, for women pursue those who flee from them and flee from those who pursue diem; they do not love for being loved, nor do they reward services; rather, 52 From line 1 972 ofGeoffrey ofVinsauf's Poetria nova, cited in Carruthers, The Crafl ofThought 304 ? 9 1 . 33Sevei in also states that, "It is the self-parodv in the [sentimental] genre that makes possible the Celestina and the later evolution ofthe novel ("Sentimental Genre" 314). 34See Ruth Mazo Karras's study From Boys to Men for misogyny as a university ritual bonding rite (67-108). For the Isabelline court, Weissberger's Isabel Rules, particularly chapter 5 on Luis de Lucena. 34Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corànica 32.2, 2004 they are all ungrateful, they distribute their rewards ruled only by obstinacy" (cited in Weissberger, Isabel Rules 1 45-46).55 However, Cárcel's wide appeal may explain why, aldiough intended as a private meditation, it could have been read and discussed publicly . Roger Chartier has demonstrated that "the practice of reading aloud, for others or oneself, should not be attributed to an inability to read with the eyes alone..., but to a cultural convention diat powerfully associated text and voice, reading, declamation, and listening"; that "oralized reading persisted into the modern period when silent reading had already become an ordinary practice for educated readers " and diat in "Golden Age Castile, leer and oír, ver and escuchar were quasi-synonymous, and reading aloud was the implied reading ofvery different genres" (Form1; and Meanings 16). The practice of communal reading was common at nobiliary courts, and Cárcel's altarpiece structure could very well have encouraged a quasi-liturgical performance. Whinnom, once more, suggested a link with the Mass as a possible source ("Cardona, the Crucifixion" 213), but among courtiers, the contrafacta Eucharist performed die celebration of their code of ethics, "the kind of superior sense and sensibility diat the aristocracy used to set itselfapart from and legitimize its dominance over die lower classes" (Weissberger, "The Politics" 320). Although already a commonplace of medieval studies, recalling the classic formulation of courtly love is appropriate here, as it encompasses the devotion of any nobleman who prays at the altar of this religio amoris: love as a moral, ennobling principle; love as an end in itself; and the supremacy of die loved one over the lover. The performance of the Eucharist ofcourtly love bonds refined men within die courdy milieu in the same way diat the performance of misogynist invention sets apart university students as a distinct group. If Cárcel is just anodier instance of misogynist discourse, how to explain its supposed success among women? Does such success support Nicholas Round's speculation that Queen Isabel and, presumably many " Another type ofmeditation, this time following the religious thread is suggested in Whinnom's posthumous article. Whinnom indicated that Juan de Cardonas Tratado notable de amor (1545-1547) found the inspiration to [emphasize the parallel between the death of Cisterno and that of Christ] in San Pedro's account of Leriano's end ("Cardona, the Crucifixion" 211). Furthermore, Antonio Cortijo indicates that "en esta última década veremos la aparición del Tratado de amores, La Repetición de amores, La continuación de la Cárcel de amor de Núñez y la Celestina, que suponen la aparición de un fenómeno inusitado de interreLiciones literal Las y réplicas y contrarréplicas que merece ser estudiado" (La evolución genéiica 165). Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work35 a female reader in Isabel's court, "read as a man" (cited in Weissberger, "Politics" 321-22)? A different answer may be extracted from Cárcel's inventional power as a meditation. As a reading that ladies could have mulled over repeatedly in private, it may have given them "the opportunity to 'read as a woman'". According to later testimony, some of them memorized the letters and used them to gain "the same kind of awareness Laureola gained ... [to resist] die manipulativeness ofcourdy lovers" (Weissberger, "Politics" 322). In fact, those ladies were following the craft of thought by committing texts to memory for their spiritual advancement. San Pedro's rejection ofhis successful romance in his old age ofsuch a because "no tuvo en leerse calma" undoubtedly hints at the polemical meditations that it encouraged. And I wonder if the objection of the moralists had to do with die content of such works —Vives scorns diem as nonsense— or with die fact diat diey were read in privacy, where women could think about diem widiout male guidance. Some conclusions We may conclude that die social nature of Cárcel's authorship is implied in the craft of meditation and the sentimental label attached to it is a direct consequence of the double function of its contemplative technique as reading practice and rhetorical inventio, memorial pilgrimage and translation. Inventive reading denotes walking through memory places -the panels of an altarpiece, biblical stories, other romances , any other text. Images are not an aid to understanding words; "Words and images are together two 'ways' of the same mental activity " (Carrudiers, The Craft of Thought 142), and literary invention entails "painting with words"P The inventories ofnoble libraries, beginning widi Cotarelo y Mori's imagined library for Enrique de Villena, provide a useful list of the memorial places diat fifteenth-century Iberian readers perambulated. This reading method was common to university-trained lawyers and clergy as well as literate aristocrats. It was also available to a wider audience, not hilly acquainted widi the technologies of reading and writing, through liturgy and affective private devotion in die oral and iconic-visual languages. All these groups— diose who relied on die oral 56 For the labyrinth asjourney and instances oflove edifices in sentimental romances, see Olga Tudorica Impey, "Contraria en la Triste deleylación". 36Sol Miguel-PrendesLa corónica 32.2, 2004 and iconic-visual modes of communication and die literate circles who also mastered die written mode — shared a prayer-book mentality. The craft of thought always relies on emotions, meant to engage memory work and affect personal experience. Therefore strong feelings , such as weeping, restlessness and fear, are not identified with feminine moods but as the necessary first stages of an active mind engaged in recollection and creative composition. The emphasis on rhetorical craft is a way of coloring memories and signaling mood to guide the individual as a pilgrim through a visual padi. The prominence that sentimental fictions assign to feelings can be seen as a consequence of the prayer-book mentality that stresses emotional identification with the text/image contemplated, which I analyze as a form of social authorship. Critics more adept at contemporary literary criticism prefer to address Cárcel's Auctoris dual role from a metafictive perspective. E. Michael Gerii states that metafiction erases die boundary between reality and fiction ("Metafiction" 59), and Lisa Voigt, building on Gerli's influential study, adds diat it invites the reader to participate in the meaning ofthe text and incorporate it as personal experience dirough an etiiical reading (132). Their insights precisely describe what a latemedieval individual would call a meditation. In this sense, Voigt's interpretation of Cárcel as an allegory of the narrative process in its double side of reading and writing - the dual nature ofcontemplative inventio— is totally accurate. Although Weissberger's article on the patriarchal bias of die sentimental label reflects a general change in the critical attitude toward this type of fiction, a gendered implication in some of the methodological approaches or in the lack of them remains. First, contemplative reading practices and their social authors are studied mainly among nuns, because we still vestigially associate feelings and devotion with women while reason and humanism belong to the masculine sphere.57 Second, studies on the readership ofsentimental fictions search to identity its female audience. Parrilla documents a few exceptional instances for Cárcel and hypothesizes die loss ofmanuscript copies and moral censorship as causes for its absence from women's inventories ("La ficción sentimental y sus lectores" 22). Parilla has very sound rea- "' Sor Isabel de Villena, a chiefexample ofa literate female with a prayer-book mentality , has lately received close attention. See Lesley K. Twomey, "Sor Isabel de Villena"; Montserrat Piera, "Writing, Auctoritas and Canon Formation"; along with Albert-Guillem Haufi Vails pioneering studies (introduction to his edition ofIsabel de Villena's Vita Christi). Reimagining Diego de San Pedro's Readers at Work37 sons, but Cárcel, is explicitly addressed to a male audience. It bonds male courtiers and schoolmen and sets diem apart from die irrationality and fickleness ofdie female sex in a quasi-liturgical performance of masculinity. Cárcel represents, as Weissberger noted ("Politics"), a powerful ideological document of the Isabelline court and an instance of the male anxiety that she so eloquendy analyzes in Isabel Rules. Weissberger also analyzed Melchor de Santa Cruz's story of the lady who refused a gentleman's letter because it was plagiarized from Cárcel as feminine resistance to masculine values ("Politics" 322), and I added earlier that the new-found feminine awareness was the logical consequence of die spiritual transformation implied in contemplative reading. I also speculated diat Vives's injunction against Cárcel might result not so much from its nonsensical content but from the possibility ofwomen's reading it in private. The Archpriest ofTalavera's muchquoted anecdote about the contents of women's cofres -"canciones, dezires, coplas, cartas de enamoradas, e muchas otras locuras" (cited in Lawrance, "The Spread of Lay Literacy" 79)- reveals masculine unease about their secret spaces. The fact that some women inherited Cárcel from their husbands' libraries (Parrilla, "La ficción" 22) could suggest that it taught those husbands about the evils of womanhood and was expected to warn their wives, who could read it under close supervision. Ifso, Vives's banning oíCárcel from young women's reading lists would be equivalent to the objection bandied against individual reading and interpretation of Scriptures. It amounts to the difference between ordered liturgical service, conducted by a male celebrant, and uncontrolled private devotion in a woman's private retreat . Cárcel signals a new sensibility, not, I diink, a humanist affinity but rather a religious fervor that prepares the way for die inception of the devotio moderna and the mystic writings of die following century. Blasphemy , Whinnom reminds us, is still a form of familiarity with the divine, and Gabriel Llompart notes diat late-medieval blasphemies are the result of a contemplative tide that spills over its epicenter (La pintura medieval mallorquína. 108). The loving contemplation of each part of Christ's body produces a series of parallel blasphemies known as dismemberments ("Blasfemias yjuramentos cristológicos en la Baja Edad Media catalana" 151-53) just as the contemplation of the Man of Sorrows leads San Pedro to fashion his courdy hero. One final speculation: I wonder if die visual nature of recollection could explain the differences among sentimental fictions. 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ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 7-44
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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