Echoes and Inscriptions: Comparative Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literatures

Echoes and Inscriptions: Comparative Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literatures

Echoes and Inscriptions: Comparative Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literatures

Echoes and Inscriptions: Comparative Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literatures

Synopsis

This volume of comparative approaches to Early Modern Spanish literatures explores the many unrecognized connections between Golden Age texts and the cultural productions of other places and other eras.

Excerpt

This volume of comparative approaches to early modem Spanish literatures seeks to explore the many unrecognized connections between Golden Age texts and the cultural productions of other places and other eras. in this undertaking, we hope to resuscitate and resignify Iberian Renaissance and Baroque writings, not merely by illuminating the underappreciated influence of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish works upon western culture, but more importantly, by positioning Cervantes, Maria de Zayas, and the other authors examined here within an artistic continuum ranging over a wide variety of time periods, genres or mediums, and geographical locales.

Such an undertaking does require that oft-maligned critical questions of influence be considered in a new light. As a general trend, the fall from favor of influence studies, because of their positivist and authoritative connotations, and the rise of post-structuralist explorations of intertextuality have been beneficial to the discipline of textual study. However, that shift in paradigm has not eliminated the narratives of origin of literary styles and genres that still play a significant role in undergraduate education; in this context, the identification of early modern Iberian influences upon canonical and emerging texts can be seen as one component in the ongoing project of reexamining the process of canonization in order to take into account many forms of previously marginalized writing. Ironically, it is Renaissance humanism, that sacrosanct ideological space inhabited and guarded almost exclusively by the critically infamous Dead White European Males, that might provide us with an applicable perspective on questions of influence. While the traditional influence studies mentioned above often tended to emphasize similarities over divergences and the impact or function of a given textual model over those of texts derived from it, it is also possible to regard works that draw upon preexisting texts as examples of imitatio and renovatio. As Thomas Greene has pointed out, Renaissance theories of imitation extend far beyond the slavish reproduction of earlier works, instead calling attention to the many . . .

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