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Notes on Cervantes as a Reader/Renewer of Celestina

Notes on Cervantes as a Reader/Renewer of Celestina N A MANNER OF SPEAKING, any writer may be considered to be reflecting, as though through a prism, the sum of his experiences and, in part, of his own history of readings. Consciously and unconsciously, some of these reading experiences will inevitably find a new home, sometimes on the surface and sometimes in the interstices of even his most original work. This is certainly true of Cervantes, although our interest here resides in his special homage to Celestina. There is a caveat, however, and it is that the material is later absorbed and modified in its new environment. One can but agree with Borges that “every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past just as it will modify the future” (Otras inquisiciones 148, qtd. in Hart 3). The context and interpretations shared by early readers of Celestina—or of later celestinesque fictions—will not perfectly dovetail with those with which Cervantes will have endowed them, just as contemporary readers of Cervantes’ fictions will have understood them within a context that writers later influenced by Cervantes will have reshaped for their own audiences. Rarely does a writer signpost his influences, which may in fact be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Notes on Cervantes as a Reader/Renewer of Celestina

Comparative Literature , Volume 60 (1) – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2008 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-60-1-81
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

N A MANNER OF SPEAKING, any writer may be considered to be reflecting, as though through a prism, the sum of his experiences and, in part, of his own history of readings. Consciously and unconsciously, some of these reading experiences will inevitably find a new home, sometimes on the surface and sometimes in the interstices of even his most original work. This is certainly true of Cervantes, although our interest here resides in his special homage to Celestina. There is a caveat, however, and it is that the material is later absorbed and modified in its new environment. One can but agree with Borges that “every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past just as it will modify the future” (Otras inquisiciones 148, qtd. in Hart 3). The context and interpretations shared by early readers of Celestina—or of later celestinesque fictions—will not perfectly dovetail with those with which Cervantes will have endowed them, just as contemporary readers of Cervantes’ fictions will have understood them within a context that writers later influenced by Cervantes will have reshaped for their own audiences. Rarely does a writer signpost his influences, which may in fact be

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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