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Maurophilia and the Construction of Early Modern Spain
In the Western imagination, Spain often evokes the colorful culture of al-Andalus, the Iberian region once ruled by Muslims. Tourist brochures inviting visitors to sunny and romantic Andalusia, home of the ingenious gardens and intricate arabesques of Granada's Alhambra Palace, are not the first texts to trade on Spain's relationship to its Moorish past. Despite the fall of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 and the subsequent repression of Islam in Spain, Moorish civilization continued to influence both the reality and the perception of the Christian nation that emerged in place of al-Andalus.
In Exotic Nation, Barbara Fuchs explores the paradoxes in the cultural construction of Spain in relation to its Moorish heritage through an analysis of Spanish literature, costume, language, architecture, and chivalric practices. Between 1492 and the expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslims forcibly converted to Christianity) in 1609, Spain attempted to come to terms with its own Moorishness by simultaneously repressing Muslim subjects and appropriating their rich cultural heritage. Fuchs examines the explicit romanticization of the Moors in Spanish literature—often referred to as "literary maurophilia"—and the complex, often silent presence of Moorish forms in Spanish material culture. The extensive hybridization of Iberian culture suggests that the sympathetic depiction of Moors in the literature of the period does not trade in exoticism but instead reminded Spaniards of the place of Moors and their descendants within Spain. Meanwhile, observers from outside Spain recognized its cultural debt to al-Andalus, often deliberately casting Spain as the exotic racial other of Europe.
Between 1585 and 1631, the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote more than forty-five plays dealing with the theme of conjugal honor. Drawing on recent feminist theories and touching on literary, social, and anthropological aspects, Professor Yarbro-Rejarano demonstrates that hierarchical relations of gender, race, and social status mutually inform one another as structuring principles of these plays. She takes into account plays that reveal their conventional, formulaic views of the Christian feminine ideal as well as those whose variety and flexibility present women subverting their expected roles. By identifying moments of resistance and subversion in the texts, the author argues against excessively monolithic interpretations of such discourses of containment.
Offering a fresh, revisionist analysis of Spanish fiction from 1900 to 1940, this study examines the work of both men and women writers and how they practiced differing forms of modernism. As Roberta Johnson notes, Spanish male novelists emphasized technical and verbal innovation in representing the contents of an individual consciousness and thus were more modernist in the usual understanding of the term. Female writers, on the other hand, were less aesthetically innovative but engaged in a social modernism that focused on domestic issues, gender roles, and relations between the sexes. Compared to the more conventional--even reactionary--ways their male counterparts treated such matters, Spanish women’s fiction in the first half of the twentieth century was often revolutionary. The book begins by tracing the history of public discourse on gender from the 1890s through the 1930s, a discourse that included the rise of feminism. Each chapter then analyzes works by female and male novelists that address key issues related to gender and nationalism: the concept of intrahistoria, or an essential Spanish soul; modernist uses of figures from the Spanish literary tradition, notably Don Quixote and Don Juan; biological theories of gender prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s; and the growth of an organized feminist movement that coincided with the burgeoning Republican movement. This is the first book dealing with this period of Spanish literature to consider women novelists, such as Maria Martinez Sierra, Carmen de Burgos, and Concha Espina, alongside canonical male novelists, including Miguel de Unamuno, Ramon del Valle-Inclan, and Pio Baroja. With its contrasting conceptions of modernism, Johnson's work provides a compelling new model for bridging the gender divide in the study of Spanish fiction.
Word and Flesh in the Novels of Unamuno
"...Unamuno often entertains a view of the universe as an enormous system of embedded and embedding forms, structures nested within other structures in seemingly endless series." -From The Great Chiasmus In The Great Chiasmus, Paul R. Olson explores the use of the chiasmus in the work of Miguel de Unamuno. The chiasmus, a reversal in the order of words or parts of speech in parallel phrases, appears on a variety of levels, from brief microstructures ("blanca como la nieve y como la nieve fria"), to the narrative structures of entire novels, and even, Olson suggests, to encompass the stages in Unamuno's novelistic work. Olson's close readings of the texts in terms of this structure lead to observations on Spanish history, events in Unamuno's life, the psychological dimensions of his characters, and the authorial self found within his texts. The Great Chiasmus shows us how Unamuno uses grammar to reflect apparent contraries as freely reversible and thus identical. In this connection, Unamuno explores concepts usually considered opposites-spirit and matter, word and flesh.
Volume 93 (2010) through current issue
A journal devoted to the teaching of Spanish and Portuguese published by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Hispania invites the submission of original, unpublished manuscripts on language, linguistics, literature, literary criticism, film, culture, cultural studies, applied linguistics and pedagogy having to do with Spanish and Portuguese. Hispania publishes scholarly articles that are judged to be of interest to specialists in the discipline(s) as well as to a diverse readership of teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Hispania is the official journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).
Vol. 73 (2005) through current issue
The Hispanic Review is a quarterly journal devoted to research in Hispanic literary and cultural studies. Published since 1933 by the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania, the journal features essays and book reviews on the diverse cultural manifestations of Spain and Latin America, from the medieval period to the present.
Representing Culture in the Contemporary Spanish Novel
What does literature reveal about a country’s changing cultural identity? In History, Violence, and the Hyperreal by Kathryn Everly, this question is applied to the contemporary novel in Spain. In the process, similarities emerge among novels that embrace apparent differences in style, structure, and language. Contemporary Spanish authors are rethinking the way the novel with its narrative powers can define a specific cultural identity.
Bringing together contributions from top specialists in Hispanic studies - both Peninsular and Latin American - this volume explores a variety of critical issues related to the historical, political, and ideological configuration of the field. Dealing with Hispanism in both Latin America and the United States, the book’s multidisciplinary essays range from historical studies of the hegemonic status of Castillian language in Spain and America to the analysis of otherness and the uses of memory and oblivion in various nationalist discourses on both sides of the Atlantic. Wide-ranging though they are, these essays are linked by an understanding of Hispanism as a cultural construction that originates with the conquest of America and assumes different intellectual and political meanings in different periods, from the time of national cultural consolidation, to the era of modernization, to the more recent rise of globalization.