Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Juana Inés de la Cruz

Juana Inés de la Cruz (hwä´nä ēnās´ dā lä krōōs), 1651–95, Mexican poet. She is considered the greatest lyric poet of the colonial period. A beautiful and intellectually precocious girl, Juana was a favorite at the viceregal court before entering a Mexican convent at the age of 16. Forced to study outside the university, she devoted herself to amassing a fine library, and made her convent into a center of religious and social life in Mexico. Her classical erudition and her scientific curiosity led to reprimands from her superiors. The bishop of Puebla published one of her studies but—under the pseudonym of a fellow nun—criticized her for neglecting religious duties. Sor Juana answered these objections to the education of women in a spirited autobiographical letter (1691; tr. 1982) that became a classic. Her lyric poetry, mystical in inspiration and influenced by Spaniards Góngora and Calderón, won enduring fame. Her masterpiece is Primer sueño, a metaphoric interpretation of a dream and of awakening. Sor Juana sold her books and devoted her last years to the spiritual life. She died trying to help the convent victims of an epidemic.

See selected poems tr. by M. S. Peden (1985) and F. Warnke (1987); studies by O. Paz (tr. 1988) and G. Tavard (1991); critical essays ed. by S. Merrim (1991).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Literary Self-Fashioning in Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Frederick Luciani.
Bucknell University Press, 2004
Six Masters of the Spanish Sonnet: Essays and Translations
Francisco de Quevedo; Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz; Antonio Machado; Federico Garcia Lorca; Jorge Borges Luis; Miguel Hernández; Willis Barnstone.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648/51-1695)" begins on p. 57
Sceptres and Sciences in the Spains: Four Humanists and the New Philosophy (ca. 1680-1740)
Ruth Hill.
Liverpool University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. One "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz"
Neither Saints nor Sinners: Writing the Lives of Women in Spanish America
Kathleen Ann Myers.
Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Tenth Muse: Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648-1695) - Letters and Learning in the Church"
The Tenth Muses Lately Sprung Up in the Americas: The Borders of the Female Subject in Sor Juana's First Dream and Anne Bradstreet's "Contemplations"
Shimek, Suzanne.
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Vol. 17, No. 1, January 2000
The Feminization of the Church?
Kaye Ashe.
Sheed & Ward, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz: Poet and Scholar" begins on p. 14
Lives in Education: A Narrative of People and Ideas
L. Glenn Smith; Joan K. Smith.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648-1695)" begins on p. 203
Catholic Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
Mary R. Reichardt.
Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1648?-1695)" begins on p. 181
Artists, Writers, and Musicians: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World
Michel-André Bossy; Thomas Brothers; John C. McEnroe.
Oryx Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Cruz, Sor Juana Ines de la" begins on p. 47
Search for more books and articles on Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz