This article argues that the representation of the memory as çela in the prose sermon of the Libro de buen amor is an Augustinian and monastic, rather than Aristotelian, trope that is central to our understanding of the poem. The trope is extended and complicated by a series of puns on çela that occur at significant intervals across the main body of the text. Study of such puns illuminates the rhetorical patterning of the LBA as generated by mnemonic rumination. Drawing on Augustine’s Confessions and Sermons, the Pamphilus de amore, and medieval poetical treatises, this article demonstrates the continuing importance of monastic mnemotechnics for literary production in fourteenth-century Castile, with implications for future approaches to the theology, philosophy, and poetics of the LBA.


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pp. 29-47
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