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New Poetry and New Subjects in Early Modern Spain
Present scholarly conversations about early European and global modernity have yet to acknowledge fully the significance of Spain and Spanish cultural production. Poetry and ideology in early modern Spain form the backdrop for Imperial Lyric, which seeks to address this shortcoming. Based on readings of representative poems by eight Peninsular writers, Imperial Lyric demonstrates that the lyric was a crucial site for the negotiation of masculine identity as Spain’s noblemen were alternately cajoled and coerced into abandoning their identifications with images of the medieval hero and assuming instead the posture of subjects. The book thus demonstrates the importance of Peninsular letters to our understanding of shifting ideologies of the self, language, and the state that mark watersheds for European and American modernity. At the same time, this book aims to complicate the historicizing turn we have taken in the field of early modern studies by considering a threshold of modernity that was specific to poetry, one that was inscribed in Spanish culture when the genre of lyric poetry attained a certain kind of prestige at the expense of epic. Imperial Lyric breaks striking new ground in the field of early modern studies.
La representación del amerindio en el teatro del Siglo de Oro
Indios en escena engages both the Baroque and Colonial fields of Hispanism in order to reevaluate fourteen major plays of Spanish Golden Age literature from a social-historical perspective. Castillo argues that these plays portray Amerindians not in their “otherness” but as subjects of empire.
The Myth of Modernity and the Transatlantic Onset of Modernism
Modernismo (1880s–1920s) is considered one of the most groundbreaking literary movements in Hispanic history, as it transformed literature in Spanish to an extent not seen since the Renaissance. As Alejandro Mejías-López demonstrates, however, modernismo was also groundbreaking in another, more radical way: it was the first time a postcolonial literature took over the literary field of the former European metropolis. Expanding Bourdieu’s concepts of cultural field and symbolic capital beyond national boundaries, The Inverted Conquest shows how modernismo originated in Latin America and traveled to Spain, where it provoked a complete renovation of Spanish letters and contributed to a national identity crisis. In the process, described by Latin American writers as a reversal of colonial relations, modernismo wrested literary and cultural authority away from Spain, moving the cultural center of the Hispanic world to the Americas. Mejías-López further reveals how Spanish American modernistas confronted the racial supremacist claims and homogenizing force of an Anglo-American modernity that defined the Hispanic as un-modern. Constructing a new Hispanic genealogy, modernistas wrote Spain as the birthplace of modernity and themselves as the true bearers of the modern spirit, moved by the pursuit of knowledge, cosmopolitanism, and cultural miscegenation, rather than technology, consumption, and scientific theories of racial purity. Bound by the intrinsic limits of neocolonial and postcolonial theories, scholarship has been unwilling or unable to explore modernismo’s profound implications for our understanding of Western modernities.
An authoritative work interspersed with nearly one hundred of John Ruskin’s Swiss drawings recounts his lifelong interest in Switzerland. Hayman provides a chronological account of Ruskin’s visits to Switzerland from his earliest travels in 1833 and 1835 and his frequent tours of the 1840s to the final visits in the 1880s. Of particular concern is Ruskin’s intention between approximately 1855 and 1865 to engrave his own drawings of Swiss towns for a work illustrative of Swiss history. Drawings of the historic Swiss towns in which Ruskin was most interested — Baden, Bellinzona, Brugg, Fribourg, Geneva, Laufenburg, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Rheinfelden, Schaffhausen, and Thun — are introduced by excerpts from John Murray’s A Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland (1856). Hayman has traced a great many Swiss drawings Ruskin referred to in his letters and diaries and has located twenty-three previously unpublished ones which appear in his book. Ruskin’s well-documented defence of J.M.W. Turner is also brought to light as the author has juxtaposed reproductions of Turner’s sketches of Swiss towns with drawings by Ruskin.
This work will not only interest scholars and students of Ruskin but should also pique the interest of Turner scholars.
This study of the social content of the only surviving Spanish epic provides a means of assessing the motives and intentions of the protagonist and of other characters. Chapters are devoted to such themes as the multifarious significance of kinship and lineage, with special attention to the role of fathers, uncles, and cousins in the world of clan loyalties; amity as a system of fictive kinship, personal honor, and public organization; the importance of women, and the meaning and function of marriage, dowry, and related practices; the emergence of the polity as a rivalry of social, legal, and economic systems; and the implications, within an essentially kin-ordered world, of the poem's notions of shame, honor, status, and social inequality.
Cognitive Cultural Studies and Early Modern Spanish Literature
In Knowing Subjects, Barbara Simerka uses an emergent field of literary study—cognitive cultural studies—to delineate new ways of looking at early modern Spanish literature and to analyze cognition and social identity in Spain at the time. Simerka analyzes works by Cervantes and Gracían, as well as picaresque novels and comedias. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, she brings together several strands of cognitive theory and details the synergies among neurological, anthropological, and psychological discoveries that provide new insights into human cognition.
Jorge de Montemayor's great pastoral novel La Diana (1559), one of the fountainheads of Spanish Renaissance literature, has often been regarded as a work written merely to amuse an effete courtly world. Bruno M. Damiani argues here that, far from being simply a "pastoral dream," Diana has profound socio-historical and religious dimensions, and that Montemayor's intentions in it were largely moral and instructive.
The timeless, idyllic nature which forms the essence of the pastoral is, in the case of Diana, inextricably bound up with the grace and sophistication of urban Spanish culture. Indeed, this study shows, Montemayor's shepherds and shepherdesses exist not in an imaginary Arcadian land but in the very real Spain and Portugal of their author's own time, and many of the characters are disguises for actual persons of the Spanish court, including perhaps the author himself.
Similarly, the philosophical and religious concerns of Renaissance Spain are fully explored in the lives of Montemayor's sorrowing rustics. Symbolically they are sinners who have fallen from grace and must undertake a spiritual pilgrimage, one which ultimately leads them to an understanding of the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
Mustering a wealth of classical, biblical, medieval, and Renaissance sources, the author reveals the underlying fabric of Diana, an inter-twining of allegory, symbolism, and imagery intended to instruct Monte-mayor's readers in the path of virtue. Damiani's analysis of this important work offers us a clearer view of the intellectual life of Renaissance Spain.