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Edinburgh University Press

Don Quixote in the Archives: Madness and Literature in Early Modern Spain

Don Quixote in the Archives: Madness and Literature in Early Modern Spain

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A new reading of madness in Don Quixote based on archival accounts of insanity.From the records of the Spanish Inquisition, Dale Shuger presents a social corpus of early modern madness that differs radically from the 'literary' madness previously studied. Drawing on over 100 accounts of insanity defences, many of which contain statements from a wide social spectrum - housekeepers, nieces, doctors, and barbers - as well as the testimonies of the alleged madmen and women themselves, Shuger argues that Cervantes' exploration of madness as experience is intimately linked to the questions about ethics, reason, will and selfhood that unreason presented for early modern Spaniards.In adapting, challenging and transforming these discourses, Don Quixote investigates spaces of interiority, confronts the limitations of knowledge - of the self and the world - and reflects on the social strategies for diagnosing and dealing with those we cannot understand. Shuger discovers an intimate connection between Cervantes's integration of this discourse of madness and his part in forging the new genre of the European novel.Key Features- Challenges the Foucauldian narrative of repression and the Bakhtinian narrative of liberation- Uses a historicist approach to show how Don Quixote engages, transforms and transcends the historical- Proposes a new reading of the development of the novel that comes from the unreasonable Baroque subject as opposed to the rational Enlightenment subject

Author: Dale Shuger
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Published: 04/04/2012
Pages: 232
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.10lbs
Size: 9.20h x 6.10w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780748644636

Review Citation(s):
Choice 10/01/2012

About the Author

Dale Shuger is a professor of early modern Spanish literature and history at Columbia University. She received her doctorate from New York University in 2008. She has published articles on madness, the Spanish Inquisition, and Cervantes in several anthologies and in The Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, and Cervantes (Journal of the Cervantes Society of America).

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