Inscribed Power: Amulets and Magic in Early Spanish Literature
In Inscribed Power, Ryan D. Giles explores the function of amuletic prayers, divine names, and incantation formulas that were inscribed and printed on parchment, paper and other media, and at the same time inserted into classic literary works in Spain. Giles’ insightful analysis of the intersection between amulets and literary texts offers fresh and original interpretations of well-known texts such as the Poema de mío Cid, the Libro de Alexandre, the Libro de buen amor, Celestina, Lazarillo de Tormes, and the Buscón. Inscribed Power is a fascinating work that highlights specific amuletic texts that were used to heal, protect, or otherwise provide a blessing or curse to discover how their powers could influence fictional lives at different moments in the development of Spanish literature.
- Series: Toronto Iberic
- World Rights
- Page Count: 328 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
"[Inscribed Power] is, in fine, a work of vast scope and of dense but well-informed and authoritative presentations of the several ramifications of its titular theme. It contributes significantly new readings of the medieval and early modern Spanish works discussed and breaks fresh scholarly ground in doing so."
Joseph T. Snow, Michigan State University
BSS, xcv 2018
"Inscribed Power [is] a valuable contribution both to the study of Spanish literature and to our knowledge of magic in the Iberian Peninsula."
Don C. Skemer, Princeton University
Speculum, vol 94 1, Jan 2019
"Inscribed Power constitutes a major scholarly contribution to the study of the esoteric textual universe to which the pre-modern word belonged. Giles’s book discovers a numinous world in which inanimate objects are imbued with magic, in which words and texts are fortified by metaphysical powers, and where a word or a name alone may be placed at the service of either good or evil. This is a key study for understanding the history of knowledge and the epistemologies and associative beliefs that shaped medieval and early modern textualities. Scholars can miss it only at their peril."
E. Michael Gerli, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish, University of Virginia
Ryan D. Giles is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Table of contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction Literary Amulets
Chapter One Amuletic Manuscripts
Chapter Two Naming God
Chapter Three Amuletic Voices
Chapter Four The Bawd’s Amulet
Chapter Five Outlaw Prayers
Postscript Amuletic Afterlives
Subjects and Courses