Reading Cultures in Context
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Baroque and the Cultures of Crises
The present volume deals with various formulations and uses of a concept—the Baroque—which in recent times has undergone a series of recyclings and permutations at the hands of literary/cultural critics and artists from various fields and academic disciplines. Baroque, Neobaroque, and Ultrabaroque are related concepts which have also been used to define certain social and cultural manifestations...
Part I. The Baroque and Its Dark Sides
Can an epoch or a certain chronological space (or, a geographical one) be melancholic? Would it be possible to speak of the high temporality of history and events as one does about a person and the state of his/her soul? Can one attribute to them what might properly be called a passion that lives as the dark manifestation of a conflicted interiority? Can one ascribe it to the long time...
Chapter 1. On the Notion of a Melancholic Baroque
The attempt here is to identify the term “Baroque” as a category emerging from the bureaucratic imperatives of empire administration. The issue raised is that there is abundant evidence in the historical literature to show the arbitrariness with which labels such as “Mannerism,” “Baroque” are affixed to the logic of a certain historical period. For instance, the socio-political trends in Spain and...
Chapter 2. Aesthetic Categories as Empire Administration Imperatives: The Case of the Baroque
The attempt here is to identify the term “Baroque” as a category emerging from the bureaucratic imperatives of empire administration. The issue raised is that there is abundant evidence in the historical literature to show the arbitrariness with which labels such as “Mannerism,” “Baroque” are afﬁxed to the logic of a certain historical period. For instance, the socio-political trends in Spain and ...
Part II. Baroque Anxieties and Strategies of Survival
Chapter 3. Of Baroque Holes and Baroque Folds
The purpose of this essay is to test a philosophical hypothesis about a historical period against literary evidence. The hypothesis belongs to Gilles Deleuze, and it concerns his implicit description of the Baroque, taken as a cultural and philosophical whole. The literary evidence against which I wish to test this hypothesis comes from the seventeenth-century Spanish author Baltasar Graci
Chapter 4. Models of Subjectivity in the Spanish Baroque: Quevedo and Graci
In this essay I seek to examine various models of subjectivity present in the Spanish baroque period for the purpose of explaining the contradictory functions of certain discourses. In a world touched by disillusion, baroque subjects and their discourses are developed between “freedom and containment,” a tension determined by the internal freedom granted by the possibility of doubt and...
Chapter 5. Horror (Vacui): The Baroque Condition
The term horror vacui evokes images of crowded walls and convoluted moldings, the face of the Baroque in its exquisite integration of all artistic crafts. Decorative excess is perhaps the most common—and certainly the most cited— manifestation of baroque expressionism, but one should not lose sight of the fact that baroque architects, artists and authors could also cultivate extreme simplicity...
Part III. Institutions and Subjectivities in Baroque Spain
Chapter 6. From Hieroglyphic Presence to Representational Sign: An Other Point of View in the Auto Sacramental
A working hypothesis of much current criticism of Spanish Golden Age literature is that the Baroque is a modern or even post-modern cultural phenomenon.1 Recently, religious and political festivals and celebrations have come to occupy a rather privileged place within such studies due in part to the tension that arises when these massive and guided politico-religious spectacles (Maravall) encounter a heterogeneous public whose diverse energies are thought to challenge...
Chapter 7. The Challenges of Freedom: Social Reflexivity in the Seventeenth-Century Spanish Literary Field
A tantalizing embryo of authorial freedom haunted Spanish baroque literature. In the following pages I will attempt to illustrate what challenges and opportunities accompanied the social emergence of the literary author in seventeenth century Spain. I am specifically thinking of the interaction between literature and court society and the built-in dialectics between literary freedom and social...
Chapter 8. Revisiting the Culture of the Baroque: Nobility, City, and Post-Cervantine Novella
The variety of approaches that has characterized the study of the Spanish Baroque throughout history reveals the complexity of the period and its attraction for critics. The homogeneity apparently imposed by a dominant authority falsifies the conflictive reality of a culture that otherwise has been continually adapting before forces of control and resistance. Indeed, the so-called “crisis” of the...
Part IV. Strategies of Identity in the Colonial Context
Chapter 9. Perspectives on Mestizaje in the Early Baroque: Inca Garcilaso and Cervantes
In Peruvian society today, colonial mestizaje constitutes the foundation of the debate about nation and culture among scholars. As in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the nation’s racial hierarchy produces an ideology that divides this country into a mestizo mass and a white elite to the extent that native Andean values are denied even by the mestizo majority of the population. It is...
Chapter 10. Freedom and Containment in Colonial Theology: Sor Juana’s Carta atenagórica
The tension between freedom and containment was inherent to the scholastic thought that dominated well-known debates in the humanities and sciences throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in both Spain and her colonies. Although Sor Juana was to state that theology was the “Queen of the Sciences,” her work calls into question the then dominant conceptions of both...
Chapter 11. Sleeping with Corpses, Eating Hearts, and Walking Skulls: Criollo’s Subjectivity in Antonio de la Calancha and Bartolomé Arzans de Orsúa y Vela
There is a peculiar building in Evora, Portugal: a chapel built with human bones. In the seventeenth century, the cemeteries of the area had run out of space and were overflowing with human remains. Three Franciscan monks thought that to recover burial space and, at the same time, preserve these osseous remains they could build a chapel with the bones. This architecture of skeletons and skulls—a relocated cemetery, a virtual space for the afterlife—was conceived...
Part V. The Baroque and Its Transgressive Recyclings
Chapter 12. Baroque/Neobaroque/Ultrabaroque: Disruptive Readings of Modernity
As it is known, attempts to explain the term baroque etymologically have coincided in a double derivation of its meaning: one aspect recovers the name assigned to one of the argumentative forms (the baroque syllogism as “the prototype of absurd formalistic and scholastic reasoning” [Corominas 88]) while the other refers to a deformity, to an unfinished desire. As an allegorical introduction...
Afterword: Redressing the Baroque
Like most literary and theoretical issues, approaches to the Baroque have changed over the last decades. Students traditionally—a word that also changes according to context—have been exposed to the concept of the Baroque as mediated through the world of the plastic arts. Baroque cathedrals and architecture adorned to the maximum catch the eye and affect the senses. One may think...
Page Count: 350
Publication Year: 2005
OCLC Number: 75967146
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Hispanic Baroques