Objects of Culture in the Literature of Imperial Spain
Published: March 2013© 2013
352 Pages, 6.30 x 9.28 x 1.10 in
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Collecting and displaying finely crafted objects was a mark of character among the royals and aristocrats in Early Modern Spain: it ranked with extravagant hospitality as a sign of nobility and with virtue as a token of princely power. Objects of Culture in the Literature of Imperial Spain explores how the writers of the period shared the same impulse to collect, arrange, and display objects, though in imagined settings, as literary artefacts.
These essays examine a variety of cultural objects described or alluded to in books from the Golden Age of Spanish literature, including clothing, paintings, tapestries, playing cards, monuments, materials of war, and even enchanted bronze heads. The contributors emphasize how literature preserved and transformed objects to endow them with new meaning for aesthetic, social, religious, and political purposes – whether to perpetuate certain habits of thought and belief, or to challenge accepted social and moral norms.
‘There are other books on the topic of material culture in the Spanish Golden Age, but this one adds to them the triptych representation of luxury, signified and disrupting objects…The essays are based on deep knowledge of previous criticism and provide an insightful perspective on the connections between the use of objects and the category of genre.’ Juan Pablo Gil-Osle, Renaissance Quarterly vol 67:01:2014
‘A number of essays are eminently legible, providing for exemplary and informative readings for advanced undergraduate students; other essays will appeal to graduate students and specialists alike.’Sanda Munjic, Hispanic Review vol 83:03:2015