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Novelas ejemplares.docx

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David Vila Diéguez SPAN 344 The Baroque Edward Friedman La base temática e ideológica de La fuerza de la sangre y La española inglesa One element that is crucial in most of the Novelas ejemplares of Cervantes is the use of the anagnorisis. This is not exclusive of him but he definitely uses it in a very particular way. If we think of Lope and his works, it would be easy to see how he mostly uses anagnorisis to reorganise the social order. When one of his characters is challenging the s
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  David Vila Diéguez SPAN 344 The Baroque Edward Friedman  La base temática e ideológica de  La fuerza de la sangre  y  La española inglesa   One element that is crucial in most of the Novelas ejemplares of Cervantes is the use of the anagnorisis. This is not exclusive of him but he definitely uses it in a very particular way. If we think of Lope and his works, it would be easy to see how he mostly uses anagnorisis to reorganise the social order. When one of his characters is challenging the social order, an anagnorisis occurs and they realise how wrong they were about whatever that was making them challenge it. As a result of this, they change their mind and everything goes back to normal. This way of using the anagnorisis is very common in Lope and other writers but I think that when Cervantes uses it he is really trying to challenge the social order and, besides, intervene in order to deconstruct this lopesque  use of the anagnorisis. If we take as examples La fuerza de la sangre  and La española inglesa , the anagnorisis we find in them are almost impossible to believe. Even compared to romances of chivalry, such as,  Amadís de Gaula , we can see that the way Cervantes uses anagnorisis could be perceived as still more unbelievable. Amadis needs to have a royal background in order for him to justify all his heroic actions as a knight, otherwise, from an Aristotelian point of view, he would be breaking the decorum. In the case of Cervantes-- also different to Lope in this-- the anagnorisis happens with plebeians and they do not necessarily become someone of “higher rank”, nor do they explain behaviours to keep the decorum. However, in spite of all this, Cervantes´ anagnorisis are still way more unbelievable. In  Amadís we find out about his srcin but there is not a continuous game of constantly changing identities that establish relationships and keep being modified throughout the book like we see in Cervantes. In La    fuerza de la sangre , it is pure coincidence that they find the child because he gets injured at a horse race. It is almost impossible to believe that his grandfather felt the “call of  the blood”, the “call  of nature ” , like Cervantes puts it in his text. The same thing happens in La española inglesa  when Isabel meets her parents. Both cases involve a very long trip and many other details that make the anagnorisis too fictitious. I think that Cervantes wants to show very clearly all the contradictions of his society and not necessarily maintain the decorum while pretending to follow some formulaic procedures that were very good established among writers of that period in such a far-fetched way, that it deconstructs the techniques themselves as well. He wanted to make people aware of the trick behind the anagnorisis while also challenging the social order. From this same perspective, we could also point out that Cervantes hardly ever includes royal characters in his works, or if he does, they are not the main characters. He brings the story “d own ”  to aristocracy or lower classes and, unlike Lope, never talks about kings or princes and princesses getting married. I feel that after the first reading the modern reader feels tempted to interpret the Novelas ejemplares of Cervantes as very conservative, since in most of them the order is somehow reorganised. However, I am almost positive that most readers finish the stories thinking that the ending was too ideal and that it would have never happened like that in reality. That is, precisely, where I think one can find the key to these writings. They make us think that what Cervantes is telling us cannot happen in real life and therefore he does not contribute to the perpetuation of the hierarchy and structures established by the group in power. To sum up, we could say that Cervantes uses some techniques — mainly the anagnorisis — that most writers are using at the time, but subverts their function in the text trying to make explicit how little sense they make when others use them in their works. We could say that, in a very anachronic way, Cervantes was an early Marxist critic since he was able to identify very well where were all the contradictions of society in the literature of the time and working from within the field used that information to create resistance through an alternative cultural product. This way, he intervenes subverting the techniques used at the  time with a counter-manipulative effect by not reinforcing the predominant ideology. This is clearer in his entremeses  where he even takes advantage of the different techniques that can be used on stage. Music becomes a very interesting counter-manipulative device in Cervantes, for instance. In the Elección de los alcaldes de Daganzo the gipsy musicians appear on scene when they are still deciding who will be the mayor. By doing this the election remains unresolved and does not contribute to reinforce anything or manipulate the audience. En El  juez de los divorcios the musicians appear on scene after long discussions about adultery and other topics that have not been resolved either. The same thing happens with Escarramán in El Viejo rufián. Finally, out of curiosity and in case we would like to find more information on any of these last ideas it would be interesting to refer to the following books and articles: Maravall, José Antonio. Teatro y literatura en la Sociedad Barroca. Madrid: Seminarios y ediciones, 1972. Print. Pérez de León, Vicente. Tablas destempladas: Los entremeses de Cervantes a examen. Alcalá de Henares: Centro de Estudios Cervantinos, 2005. Print. Cruz, Anne J.   “Deceit, desire and the limits  of the subversion in Cervantes interludes”. Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America. 14.2 (1994): 119-136. Print.  Naranjo Boza, Nicolás. “ Visos de la música en los Entremeses cervantinos”.   Escritos . Vol. 13. N.30 (2005): 252-285. Print.

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