New publication: Videoactas del I Congreso del Círculo de Estudios de la Literatura Picaresca y Celestinesca (4th-5th of June 2020)

Last week the Círculo de Estudios de la Literatura Picaresca y Celestinesca (CELPYC) presented officially the conference proceedings of the I Congreso Virtual del CELPYC, in video format.

The conference, which took place the 4th and the 5th of June of this year via Zoom, devoted its second session to Celestina in its entirety, with papers by early career, not-so-early-career, and veteran celestinistas. Celestinesque illustrations received particular attention, with four papers on the topic:

The remaining two papers dealt with the characterisation of Melibea and Marcela, the shepherdess of El Quijote (“La víbora no merece ser culpada por la ponzoña que tiene”: Melibea y la pastora Marcela by Ivette Martí Caloca) and a Broadway musical version of Celestina (“Celestina, a Tragic Musical Comedia”: A New Old Bawd-way Musical by Brad Bond).

The celestinesque session closed with the presentation of the books Vida escénica de “La Celestina” en España (1909-2019) (Peter Lang: 2020), by María Bastianes, and “La Celestina”, un mito literario contemporáneo (Iberoamericana-Vervuert: 2020), by Jéromine François.

The full range of papers can be viewed at the official website of the CELPYC: Videoactas del I Congreso del CELPYC

Anejos de la revista Celestinesca

The most important journal in our field, Celestinesca, has undergone some changes since the beginning of 2020. The first and –in my opinion– most important one is having been given the eISSN 2695-7183, which has made possible its reindexing in Latindex, where it figured as “Discontinued”. Moreover, the the kind of license under which articles are published (CC BY 4.0) is more explicit now, since a license button has been added to volumes.

A few days ago the Anejos de la revista Celestinesca were launched as well, with the critical editions of the Comedia and the Tragicomedia by José Luis Canet. I do not know if this means that Celestinesca is preparing itself to publish its own series of celestinesque scholarship or just an effective way to provide Celestina scholars with these editions, but in any case it is always good news that Celestinesca is in good shape and continuosly progressing.

Review: Dialogismo teológico: devotio moderna, “Celestina” & “Quijote”

It has been two years, soon three, since Martha García published her Dialogismo teológico: devotio moderna, “Celestina” & “Quijote” at Academia Editorial del Hispanismo. When I first read the title I was terrified; not in vain my doctoral research at the time dealt with the topic of the relationship between Celestina and the devotio moderna, and I feared someone had reached the same conclusions I had, if not better ones, and turned my research useless and unoriginal -a quite common fear among doctoral candidates. However, García’s work could not be more different to my own dissertation.

In the first place, García’s book is a book on literary theory, and not so much on Celestina, Quijote or the devotio moderna. Its debt to Bakhtin’s interpretation of the genre of the novel in dialogic terms is evident from the title itself, and I have myself never been able to understand why certain scholars are so enthusiastic about this particular approach, but I must admit my dislike for literary theory in general is well-known and, therefore, I am not well-equipped to comment on the bakhtinian background of the study, so that I will not comment on this aspect. However, a bakhtinian reading is (fortunately for me) not everything García’s work is about.

Continue reading “Review: Dialogismo teológico: devotio moderna, “Celestina” & “Quijote””

Publication: “Celestina” según su lenguaje (Madrid: Editorial Pliegos). Monograph by Raúl Álvarez-Moreno

ÁLVAREZ-MORENO, Raúl (2015), “Celestina” según su lenguaje, Madrid, Editorial Pliegos.

For sale on-line at the publishing house.

ABSTRACT: “Celestina” según su lenguaje studies language in Celestina (1499-1502) as a central factor -not just supplementary or subsequent- of the conflict that takes place in the dramatic work. Due to the Aristotelian, Stoic and Christian projection from Semantics to Epistemology and Moral Philosophy (Ethics and Politics), language and in particular the antagonistic but concomitant ways of conceiving meaning, become essential to understanding the different tensions and disputes embedded in the text. Closely related to the linguistic changes taking place in the fifteenth century, the rhetorical character of Celestina and the adoption of strategies and techniques from traditional Skepticism prove to be crucial in questioning dogmatic discourses and philosophical-intellectual truths at the time. Christian truth, which supposedly should replace the latter, is not spared either as necessary or indisputable. Such processes would greatly contribute to an explanation of the ambiguity and the different readings the play offers to its readers.

Publication: Intertextualidades bíblicas en “Celestina”: devotio moderna y humanismo cristiano (Vigo: Editorial Academia del Hispanismo). Monograph by Amaranta Saguar García

SAGUAR GARCÍA, Amaranta (2015), Intertextualidades bíblicas en “Celestina”: devotio moderna y humanismo cristiano, Vigo, Editorial Academia del Hispanismo.

For sale on-line at the publishing house.

ABSTRACT: The Bible serves as a source for Celestina, but biblical references and reminiscences in the text do not derive from the Scriptures themselves, but from secondary and even tertiary sources. These represent the typical medium of access to the Bible of laymen and, in the case of Celestina, of a very specific group of laymen: university members, which formed the original audience of the work and shared a same way of reading it. Therefore, biblical intertextuality in Celestina is defined by the relation of university members to these sources.

When analysed from the perspective of university readers, Celestina becomes a pseudo-contemplative work to which the principles of visual mental representation of affective meditation apply. If read making use of these principles, the didactic and moralising message of the preliminary texts is confirmed and Celestina reveals itself as an admonitory tale against carnal love. Moreover, it appears as a counterfeit sentimental romance, concretely, a reply to Cárcel de amor, to contemporary love habits and to courtly customs.

In addition, reading Celestina from the perspective of an university audience offers a new view on the misuse of biblical references. Instead of being representative of a heterodox attitude toward the Scriptures, these function as a condemnation of the bad use of auctoritates in dialectic contexts. As a result, Celestina can be related to a reformist current in the university world, which was particularly critical to Scholasticism and its teaching methodology. In this sense, Celestina aligns itself with Humanism and, specifically with Christian Humanism.

Finally, analysing Celestina from the point of view of university readers explains why a work, which had been originally conceived as a didactic and moralising text, was criticised in the sixteenth century for being inmmoral: audience and times had changed.