Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stuck in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

These days, I spend a lot of time studying literature of Spain's siglo de oro, a name that is kind of a misnomer — siglos de oro would be a much better term. I'm living and breathing Cervantes (especially Don Quijote and the extremely entertaining Novelas ejemplares), Fray Luis de León (poetry), San Juan de la Cruz (poetry), Santa Teresa de Ávila (autobiography), picaresque literature, humanist dialogues (heavily influenced by Erasmus and bitingly funny), and various types of early prosa novelescanovela morisca, novela sentimental, novela pastoril, etc.

Literature from the siglo de oro has really grown on me since I started grad school, something I'm sure Kait will be glad to hear. No one's more surprised by this than I am — I originally planned to study very recent narrative fiction in Latin America and had something of a phobia of anything written in the peninsula before the late eighteenth century (with the notable exception of the mystics). Since then, however, I've gravitated towards narratives on both sides of the Atlantic in the siglo de oro/colonial periods and poetry in general doesn't scare me half so much as it used to. Early Modern Studies are fascinating. Being stuck, metaphorically speaking, in Spanish language literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries isn't bad at all.