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Sor Juana (88 Edition)

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

Mexico's leading poet, essayist, and cultural critic writes of a Mexican poet of another time and another world, the world of seventeenth-century New Spain. His subject is Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the most striking figure in all of Spanish-American colonial literature and one of the great poets of her age.

Her life reads like a novel. A spirited and precocious girl, one of six illegitimate children, is sent to live with relatives in the capital city. She becomes known for her beauty, wit, and amazing erudition, and is taken into the court as the Vicereine's protégée. For five years she enjoys the pleasures of life at court--then abruptly, at twenty, enters a convent for life. Yet, no recluse, she transforms the convent locutory into a literary and intellectual salon; she amasses an impressive library and collects scientific instruments, reads insatiably, composes poems, and corresponds with literati in Spain. To the consternation of the prelates of the Church, she persists in circulating her poems, redolent more of the court than the cloister. Her plays are performed, volumes of her poetry are published abroad, and her genius begins to be recognized throughout the Hispanic world. Suddenly she surrenders her books, forswears all literary pursuits, and signs in blood a renunciation of secular learning. The rest is silence. She dies two years later, at forty-six.

Octavio Paz has long been intrigued by the enigmas of Sor Juana's personality and career. Why did she become a nun? How could she renounce her lifelong passion for writing and learning? Such questions can be answered only in the context of the world in which she lived. Paz gives a masterly portrayal of the life and culture of New Spain and the political and ideological forces at work in that autocratic, theocratic, male-dominated society, in which the subjugation of women was absolute.

Just as Paz illuminates Sor Juana's life by placing it in its historical setting, so he situates her work in relation to the traditions that nurtured it. With critical authority he singles out the qualities that distinguish her work and mark her uniqueness as a poet. To Paz her writings, like her life, epitomize the struggle of the individual, and in particular the individual woman, for creative fulfillment and self-expression.

Review:

"This remarkable book is already a classic in its original Spanish version. Paz has written an exciting biography of one of the
great poets and intellectuals of 17th-century Mexico, a biography which includes a presentation of the historical, philosophical, literary, religious and political context of Sor Juana's life. Her achievements in secular letters were even more astonishing for the fact that she was a woman in a male-dominated society, a nun in a church hierarchy which demanded absolute obedience, and the low-born daughter of an unidentified father in a society which prized family ties and connections. Her dazzling brilliance, wit, beauty, and learning earned her a place in Mexican high society (her convent cell became the intellectual center of Mexico City). Sor Juana was a strong, articulate woman who maintained her independence in the face of mounting criticism, which finally managed to silence her. She was defeated by church representatives who had always been uncomfortable with, and opposed to, her secular learning. Her works were prohibited, her personal library sold at bargain prices. A life of independence and defiance was finally ended in submission—she wrote nothing during the last two years of her life. But her work lives on. This book is an extraordinary achievement." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Synopsis:

Mexico's leading poet, essayist, and cultural critic writes of a Mexican poet of another time and another world, the world of seventeenth-century New Spain. His subject is Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the most striking figure in all of Spanish-American colonial literature and one of the great poets of her age.

Synopsis:

Octavio Paz is Winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature

About the Author

Octavio Paz is the author of more than forty columes of poetry and prose.

Table of Contents

Prologue: History, Life, Work

Part One: THE KINGDOM OF NEW SPAIN
1. A Unique Society
2. The Dais and the Pulpit
3. Syncretism and Empire
4. A Transplanted Literature

Part Two: JUANA RAMÍREZ, 1648-11668
5. The Ramírez Family
6. May Syllables Be Composed by the Stars
7. The Trials of Juana Inés
8. Taking the Vows

Part Three: SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ, 1669-1679
9. Life in the Convent
10. Political Rites
11. The World as Hieroglyph
12. Sister Juana and the Goddess Isis

Part Four: SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ, 1680-1690
13. Flattery and Favors
14. Council of Stars
15. Religious Fires
16. The Reflection, the Echo
17. Realm of Signs
18. Different from Herself

Part Five: THE TENTH MUSE
19. Hear Me with Your Eyes
20. Ink on Wings of Paper
21. Music Box
22. The Stage and the Court
23. The Float and the Sacrament
24. First Dream

Part Six: THE TRAPS OF FAITH
25. An Ill-Fated Letter
26. The Response
27. And the Responses
28. The Siege
29 The Abjuration

Epilogue Toward a Restitution

Appendix Sor Juana: Witness for the Prosecution

Notes on Sources

Spanish Literary Terms

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674821064
Translator:
Peden, Margaret Sayers
Author:
Peden, Margaret Sayers
Author:
P.
Author:
Paz, Octavio
Author:
az, Octavio
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
General
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
History and criticism
Subject:
Mexico
Subject:
Mexican poetry
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Central & South American
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography - Women
Subject:
Literary Criticism-Poetry
Copyright:
Publication Date:
January 1990
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 halftones
Pages:
564
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 27 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Sor Juana (88 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.50 In Stock
Product details 564 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674821064 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Mexico's leading poet, essayist, and cultural critic writes of a Mexican poet of another time and another world, the world of seventeenth-century New Spain. His subject is Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the most striking figure in all of Spanish-American colonial literature and one of the great poets of her age.
"Synopsis" by , Octavio Paz is Winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature
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