"David Castillo takes us on a tour of some horrific materials that have rarely been considered together. He sheds a fantastical new light on the baroque."
---Anthony J. Cascardi, University of California Berkeley
"Baroque Horrors is a textual archeologist's dream, scavenged from obscure chronicles, manuals, minor histories, and lesser-known works of major artists. Castillo finds tales of mutilation, mutation, monstrosity, murder, and mayhem, and delivers them to us with an inimitable flair for the sensational that nonetheless rejects sensationalism because it remains so grounded in historical fact."
---William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University
"Baroque Horrors is a major contribution to baroque ideology, as well as an exploration of the grotesque, the horrible, the fantastic. Castillo organizes his monograph around the motif of curiosity, refuting the belief that Spain is a country incapable of organized scientific inquiry."
---David Foster, Arizona State University
Baroque Horrors turns the current cultural and political conversation from the familiar narrative patterns and self-justifying allegories of abjection to a dialogue on the history of our modern fears and their monstrous offspring. When life and death are severed from nature and history, "reality" and "authenticity" may be experienced as spectator sports and staged attractions, as in the "real lives" captured by reality TV and the "authentic cadavers" displayed around the world in the Body Worlds exhibitions. Rather than thinking of virtual reality and staged authenticity as recent developments of the postmodern age, Castillo looks back to the Spanish baroque period in search for the roots of the commodification of nature and the horror vacui that accompanies it. Aimed at specialists, students, and readers of early modern literature and culture in the Spanish and Anglophone traditions as well as anyone interested in horror fantasy, Baroque Horrors offers new ways to rethink broad questions of intellectual and political history and relate them to the modern age.
David Castillo is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.
Jacket art: Frederick Ruysch's anatomical diorama. Engraving reproduction "drawn from life" by Cornelius Huyberts. Image from the Zymoglyphic Museum.
Though Alexander the Great lived more than seventeen centuries before the onset of Iberian expansion into Muslim Africa and Asia, he loomed large in the literature of late medieval and early modern Portugal and Spain. Exploring little-studied chronicles, chivalric romances, novels, travelogues, and crypto-Muslim texts, Vincent Barletta shows that the story of Alexander not only sowed the seeds of Iberian empire but foreshadowed the decline of Portuguese and Spanish influence in the centuries to come.
Death in Babylon depicts Alexander as a complex symbol of Western domination, immortality, dissolution, heroism, villainy, and death. But Barletta also shows that texts ostensibly celebrating the conqueror were haunted by failure. Examining literary and historical works in Aljamiado, Castilian, Catalan, Greek, Latin, and Portuguese, Death in Babylon develops a view of empire and modernity informed by the ethical metaphysics of French phenomenologist Emmanuel Levinas. A novel contribution to the literature of empire building, Death in Babylon provides a frame for the deep mortal anxiety that has infused and given shape to the spread of imperial Europe from its very beginning.
The dream of “progress” that animated many nineteenth-century artistic and political movements gave way at the turn of the century to a dissatisfaction with the Industrial Civilization and a recurrent pessimism about a future dominated by mechanization. Art Nouveau, which was both a style and a movement, embodied this dissatisfaction, marking the turn-of-the-century period with an aesthetic that consciously set out to revolutionize literature, the arts, and society within the framework of a brutalizing, wildly burgeoning Industrial Civilization. Generally associated with northern European culture, Art Nouveau also had a great impact in the south, particularly in Spain.
A Dream of Arcadia is the first work to explore Spain’s fertile and imaginative Art Nouveau. Through the eyes of four major Spanish writers, Lily Litvak views several different aspects of the turn-of-the-century struggle against the advances of industrialism in Spain. Her interpretation of the early works of Ramón del Valle Inclán, Miguel de Unamuno, José Martínez Ruiz (Azorín), and Pío Baroja exposes a longing for a preindustrial arcadia based on a return to nature, the revival of handicrafts and medieval art, an attraction to rural primitive societies, and a revulsion against the modern city. Set against the European literary and artistic background of the period, her observations place the Spanish manifestations of Art Nouveau within the context of the better-known northern phenomena. Of particular interest is her discussion of the influences of John Ruskin, William Morris, and the Pre-Raphaelites, which demonstrates how the general European mood was articulated in Spain.
Litvak concludes that Valle Inclán, Unamuno, Azorín, and Baroja must be considered as more than simply fin de siècle writers, for they became part of a general movement, generated by Art Nouveau, that spans an entire century. A Dream of Arcadia demonstrates that Art Nouveau was more than a flash on Europe's artistic horizon; it is a philosophy with ramifications that have led to communes, handcrafted articles, and nomadic adolescents in search of truth.
Contributors. Daniel Balderston, Emilie Bergmann, Israel Burshatin, Brad Epps, Mary S. Gossy, Robert Irwin, Agnes I. Lugo-Ortiz, Sylvia Molloy, Oscar Montero, José Esteban Muñoz, José Quiroga, Rubén Ríos Avila, B. Sifuentes Jáuregui, Paul Julian Smith
Literature Among Discourses was first published in 1986. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Literature in the High Middle Ages referred to anything written. Those who institutionalized the study of literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ignored this medieval meaning, and literary history, especially in the hands of teachers, became what Wlad Godzich and Nicholas Spadaccini call a peregrination from one masterpiece to another. In Spanish literature, a cluster of such masterpieces came to be identified quite early, constituting a siglo de oro,a Golden Age. These outstanding works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries became a paradigm of achievement for the German romantics who formulated the project of literary history; for this reason, the authors of Literature among Discourses have chosen to begin their own exploratory voyage with the Spanish Golden Age.
Their intent is not simply to complete the historical record by studying "popular" texts alongside the canonical works, nor is it to establish these texts as a treasure trove of raw materials awaiting entry into and transformation by the masterpiece. They ask, rather, why the masterpiece came to occupy its place—how specific texts (or classes of texts) came to be differentiated from other discursive entities and labeled "literature." Taken together, their essays reveal an era in which literature is never a given, but is instead constantly being forged in a manner as complex as the social dynamic itself.
Contributors include: the editors, José Antonio Maravall, Michael Nerlich, Ronald Sousa, Constance Sullivan, Jenaro Talens, José Luís Canet, and Javier Herrero. Wlad Godzich is director of the Center for Humanistic Studies, and Nicholas Spadaccini, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, at the University of Minnesota.
Frequent and complex representations of jealousy in early modern Spanish literature offer symbolically rich and often contradictory images. Steven Wagschal examines these occurrences by illuminating the theme of jealousy in the plays of Lope de Vega, the prose of Miguel de Cervantes, and the complex poetry of Luis de Góngora. Noting the prevalence of this emotion in their work, he reveals what jealousy offered these writers at a time when Spain was beginning its long decline.
“The Op-Ed Novel not only elegantly recounts a vital intellectual and cultural history of post-Franco Spain. Carefully exploring the careers of Spain’s most eminent writers, it demonstrates, too, the osmotic links between political journalism and literary fiction—salutary reading in the English-speaking countries, where politics and literature are still regarded as strangers to each other.”—Pankaj Mishra, author of Run and HideA new history of contemporary Spanish fiction through the prism of novelists’ newspaper columns.Public intellectuals come in many different stripes, but most of them gain a following at least in part from their writing, whether in the form of magazine articles, newspaper columns, or full-length nonfiction. A few—James Baldwin and Joan Didion are celebrated examples—start out as novelists before turning to the rough-and-tumble of current affairs. In The Op-Ed Novel, Bécquer Seguín undertakes the first book-length study of how contemporary literature is shaped by opinion journalism, focusing on fiction writers who took to the papers in post-Franco Spain and became stewards of their country’s cultural, economic, and political future.Following Spain’s transition to democracy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, internationally acclaimed novelists such as Javier Cercas, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Javier Marías seized the opportunity to populate the opinion pages of the newly legal free press. The Op-Ed Novel analyzes how the argumentative styles and preoccupations of their columns in El País, Spain’s most widely read daily, bled into their fiction. These and other authors used their novels to settle scores with fellow intellectuals, make speculative historical claims, and advance partisan political projects. At the same time, their literary technique greatly invigorated opinion journalism.A lively guide to the terroir of contemporary Spanish literature, The Op-Ed Novel offers a bird’s-eye view of both the post-Franco intellectual climate and the changing role of the novelist in public life.
In this dynamic collection of essays, many leading literary scholars trace gay and lesbian themes in Latin American, Hispanic, and U.S. Latino literary and cultural texts. Reading and Writing the Ambiente is consciously ambitious and far-ranging, historically as well as geographically. It includes discussions of texts from as early as the seventeenth century to writings of the late twentieth century.
Reading and Writing the Ambiente also underscores the ways in which lesbian and gay self-representation in Hispanic texts differs from representations in Anglo-American texts. The contributors demonstrate that—unlike the emphasis on the individual in Anglo- American sexual identity—Latino, Spanish, and Latin American sexual identity is produced in the surrounding culture and community, in the ambiente. As one of the first collections of its kind, Reading and Writing the Ambiente is expressive of the next wave of gay Hispanic and Latin scholarship.
Poetry and prose by Spanish women presented here in both English and Spanish.
A dazzling sampler, Water Lilies brings to light a rich and until now largely invisible version of Spanish literary history. These hard-to-find works, most translated for the first time, are printed on facing pages in Spanish and English and located within a critical, biographical, and historical overview.
Here are five centuries of writing by Spanish women, the unknown recovered from obscurity, the well-known seen as they rarely have been-in the context of a women’s literary history. Some of these writers, like Rosalía de Castro in “The Bluestockings” and Teresa de Cartagena in Wonder at the Work of God, question the relationship between the woman writer and the act of writing. Some, like the poet Carolina Coronado in “The Twin Geniuses: Sappho and Saint Teresa of Jesus,” overtly seek a literary tradition. Others, like Saint Teresa in her Life and Luisa Sigea in her poetry, provide touchstones for women in search of such a tradition.
Legends and stories of women’s friendships, the inconstancy of men, and the love of God; Spain’s first autobiographical text; secular and religious poetry from medieval through recent times; an excerpt from one of the few chivalresque novels written by a woman; a full-length Golden Age comedia: this is the wide range of works Water Lilies comprises. Brought together for the first time, the writers articulate their resistance to, and their complicity in, a literary history that, until now, has tried to exclude them.
When a master novelist, essayist, and critic searches for the wellsprings of his own work, where does he turn? Mario Vargas Llosa—Peruvian writer, presidential contender, and public intellectual—answers this most personal question with elegant concision in this collection of essays. In “Four Centuries of Don Quixote,” he revisits the quintessential Spanish novel—a fiction about fiction whose ebullient prose still questions the certainties of our stumbling ideals. In recounting his illicit, delicious discovery of Borges’ fiction—“the most important thing to happen to imaginative writing in the Spanish language in modern times”—Vargas Llosa stands in for a generation of Latin American novelists who were liberated from their sense of isolation and inferiority by this Argentinean master of the European tradition.In a nuanced appreciation of Ortega y Gasset, Vargas Llosa recovers the democratic liberalism of a misunderstood radical—a mid-century political philosopher on a par with Sartre and Russell, ignored because “he was only a Spaniard.” And in essays on the influence of Karl Popper and Isaiah Berlin, the author finds an antidote to the poisonous well of fanaticism in its many modern forms, from socialist utopianism and nationalism to religious fundamentalism. From these essays a picture emerges of a writer for whom the enchantment of literature awakens a critical gaze on the turbulent world in which we live.
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