Cervantes and the Renaissance: Papers of the Pomona College Cervantes Symposium, November 16-18, 1978

Cervantes and the Renaissance: Papers of the Pomona College Cervantes Symposium, November 16-18, 1978

Cervantes and the Renaissance: Papers of the Pomona College Cervantes Symposium, November 16-18, 1978

Cervantes and the Renaissance: Papers of the Pomona College Cervantes Symposium, November 16-18, 1978

Excerpt

The fourteen papers contained in this volume were first presented orally at the Pomona College Symposium on Cervantes and the Renaissance in November 1978. The symposium was intended to provide an opportunity for some of the world's leading Cervantes scholars to reassess Cervantes' work within the context of Renaissance thought and art.

In his keynote address Professor Juan Bautista Avalle-Arce attested that the description of Cervantes as a Renaissance writer is far more questionable than it might at first seem. Américo Castro definitively refuted the once widely held notion of Cervantes as ingenio lego, demonstrating beyond a doubt that he had thoroughly assimilated the intellectual attainments of the Renaissance. The canard that Spain was a country without a Renaissance has likewise been almost universally rejected. The classification remains problematical, however, because of questions of chronology and, more importantly, because of the uniqueness of the intellectual history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain. There is an enormous cultural gap between the Spain of Charles V and that of the Philips. Cervantes' work forms a complex and difficult bridge between the two periods. Don Quixote, Avalle-Arce concludes, can properly be considered a Renaissance work, but the posthumous Persiles y Sigismunda is an expression of the new cultural climate of Spain's Catholic Reformation. The secular treatment of the theme of self- knowledge and the disillusionment we find in Don Quixote reflect Cervantes' nostalgia for the earlier period of intellectual freedom . . .

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