Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 2774
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Valbuena , Olga Lucia.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Sorceresses, Love Magic, and the Inquisition of Linguistic Sorcery in "Celestina"
  • Source URL: PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (Full Text via JSTOR) 109, 2 (March 1994): 207-224. Link Info target = '_blank'>PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (Full Text via JSTOR) 109, 2 (March 1994): 207-224. Link Info
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Fernando de Rojas, Author- Celestina Love Charms Magic Sexuality in Literature Witches in Literature Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: Iberia
  • Century: 15- 16
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  • Abstract: In recent years critics have contested the tradtional understanding of Celestina's "enchantment" of Melibea as diabolically assisted. Yet rhetorical, feminist, and poststructuralist readings have not explained Celestina's discursive practice in the wider context of other Spanish sorceresses of language. I argue that Celestina's protracted appeal to Melibea and allusion to a prayer or charm of Saint Apollonia correspond to the language and methods of other Spanish and New World sorceresses investigated by ecclesiastical courts and the Inquisition. I draw from unedited conquest-era documents to compare Celestina's "linguistic sorcery" with that of women who transformed Catholic prayers and narratives of saints' tortures into erotically charged love philters for subduing men. Like the women examined by inquisitors and inspectors (visitadores), Celestina, far from requiring diabolical intervention in her discursive practice, draws on the culture's language of submission as she explores the continuity between suffering and ecstasy. [Reproduced by permission of the Modern Language Association of America.]
  • Author's Affiliation: Duke University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1994.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00308129
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