Melancholy and Culture: Diseases of the Soul in Golden Age Spain

Melancholy and Culture: Diseases of the Soul in Golden Age Spain

by Roger Bartra


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Despite melancholy’s long tenure in European history, little attention has been paid to the subject of melancholy during the Spanish Golden Age, in spite of its enormous importance to Spanish thinking and culture. This volume demonstrates that the melancholy that prevailed in this historical period is an indispensable link in a chain which may help us to further understand the appearance of sadness and malcontent in Europe at the dawn of modernity. Staring with an exploration of Libro de la melancholia, the first book on melancholy written in vernacular Spanish, Melancholy and Culture goes on to examine the condition in works by Cervantes and Velásquez in order to suggest that culture is not an antidote for the melancholic, and, rather, that the culture is melancholy, and melancholy is culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780708320105
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Publication date: 11/15/2008
Series: University of Wales - Iberian and Latin American Studies Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Roger Bartra is research fellow emeritus at the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, UNAM, Mexico.

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Foreword



Chapter 1         Myths of Melancholy

Chapter 2         The Golden Age of Melancholy: A Sixteenth-Century Physician at the Frontiers of Madness

Chapter 3         Melancholy and Christianity: On Don Quixote’s Sadness



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