Cervantes and the Material World

Cervantes and the Material World

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In this first volume in the new HISPANISMS series, Johnson illuminates Cervantes' Don Quixote on the side of materialism--in contrast to the highly idealistic perspective one usually takes of the knight-errant and his adventures.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 27.94mm | 362.87g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0252025482
  • 9780252025488

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In this innovative revisiting of Don Quixote and the Novelas ejemplares, Carroll B. Johnson investigates in detail the cultural and material environment in which Cervantes placed his characters.Cervantes and the Material World reveals a recurrent preoccupation with the clash of two different economic systems: a reenergized feudalism and an incipient capitalism. Overturning the common assumption that Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and myriad other colorful characters carry out their adventures in a timeless social milieu, Johnson demonstrates how their perspectives and experiences are shaped by the events and crises of their immediate historical context.Johnson examines how questions of the distribution of wealth, the ownership of the means of production, and membership in one or another economic order permeate Cervantes's fiction. Thoughtfully contextualizing key excerpts, he suggests how business activities, legal codes, and other materialist practices actively impinge on the lives of the characters, influencing and in some cases determining their motivations and their possibilities for action.A major study that will change the face of Cervantes scholarship, Cervantes and the Material World is also an important resource for students of the Spanish Golden Age and Renaissance and baroque literature and culture.show more

Review quote

"Presents a refreshing and different approach to Cervantes' world of fiction... Cervantes' characters deal with their often precarious circumstances through the various socioeconomic exchanges that make them renounce the old world order in favor of a new world order. Johnson's is indeed a work on Cervantes that will aid Cervantistas and Hispanists in general to better understand the historical circumstances of Cervantes' time." -- Patricial Vilches, Sixteenth Century Journal ADVANCE PRAISE "Cervantine criticism in this country has by and large taken little account of social and economic history. Carroll Johnson's book changes this, and in so doing considerably ups the ante of Cervantine scholarship. It opens up sweeping historical panoramas signaled by the novels but hitherto only dimly accessible to us owing to our limited knowledge of the sociocultural contexts in which Cervantes placed his writings... It is hard to imagine how any future Cervantine study could ignore this book, or why it would want to. This is undoubtedly one of the most significant contributions to Cervantine scholarship in the past twenty years." -- Steven Hutchinson, author of Cervantine Journeys "With accustomed originality, clarity, and critical acumen, Carroll Johnson challenges the limits of Cervantine criticism to produce a major study that is rich in intuition and insights. As in the case of Johnson's pioneering Madness and Lust, which ushered in a generation of sophisticated psychoanalytical readings of Cervantes, this book serves as the harbinger for a whole new set of critical possibilities that are destined to transform our understanding of Cervantes and the world in which he lived... It is destined to provoke both sustained dialogue and debate." -- E. Michael Gerli, author of Refiguring Authority: Reading, Writing, and Rewriting in Cervantes "Carroll B. Johnson is a superb reader of Golden Age Spanish literature and culture... While he is highly attuned to the ideological underpinnings of the fictions, the approach is at the service of the work of art, not vice versa. Cervantes and the Material World is an insightful, elegantly crafted, and engaging study, indispensable reading for those with an interest in the institutions and the creative enterprises of early modern Spain." -- Edward H. Friedman, coeditor of Brave New Words: Studies in Spanish Golden Age Literatureshow more

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