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An Early SelfJewish Belonging in Romance Literature, 1499-1627$
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Susanne Zepp

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787451

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787451.001.0001

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Skepticism and Irony

Skepticism and Irony

La Celestina (1499)

Chapter:
(p.19) One Skepticism and Irony
Source:
An Early Self
Author(s):

Susanne Zepp

, Insa Kummer
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804787451.003.0002

The first chapter focuses on the Tragicomedia de Calixto y Melibea, which has become known under the title La Celestina. This closet drama is almost invariably described as a “threshold” or as a “work of crisis” (Manfred Tietz) at the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Hitherto existing research understands the text as an example of converso skepticism, and suggests that the constraints of persecution and the adaptive measures conversos were subjected to have shaped the path of Spanish literature into the Renaissance in a specific way. This chapter suggests a different reading, understanding the literary techniques in La Celestina as a decontextualization of biblical texts followed by “oblique” recontextualization. These oblique recontextualizations create surprising perspectives for the original context and make other perspectives not articulated in the text conceivable. A direct path leads from this technique, further perfected mainly by Cervantes in Don Quijote, to modern literature.

Keywords:   Converso Literature, Literary technique, philosophy and literature

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