Academic journal article Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Escape from the Prison of Love: Caloric Identities and Writing Subjects in Fifteenth-Century Spain

Academic journal article Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Escape from the Prison of Love: Caloric Identities and Writing Subjects in Fifteenth-Century Spain

Article excerpt

Robert Folger, Escape From the Prison of Love: Caloric Identities and Writing Subjects in Fifteenth-Century Spain. North Carolina Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures, 292. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 2009. 190 pp. ISBN 978-0-8078-9296-1.

This curiously subtitled monograph is another important contribution by Robert Folger to the sentimental-romance scholarly debate. Seemingly focused on one woodcut from the early printings of Diego de San Pedro's Cárcel de amor (showing the Author watching Leriano, bound and led by the Wild Man Deseo, bearing a burning female image in place of a club/mace/phallus), Professor Folger constructs a wide-ranging study of the destructive force of love in the genre, a love that consumes the lover with its heat (thus the caloric value, if I have understood the argument), but which paradoxically can lead to masculine self-empowerment. (Curiously, as women were 'cold' and men 'hot', this meant that extreme desire by men could lead to a type of self-immolation).

As we have come to expect from Professor Folger's work, the underpinning of this study is a survey not only of Hispanic work on the genre but also of the classical and medieval background (Galen, Aristotle, Aquinas), as well as contributions to his argument by European and American theory (Lacan/ Deleuze, Foucault, Greenblatt). …

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