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The Spanish Arcadia

The Spanish Arcadia: Sheep Herding, Pastoral Discourse, and Ethnicity in Early Modern Spain

Series: Toronto Iberic
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 360
  • Book Info
    The Spanish Arcadia
    Book Description:

    Irigoyen-García provides incisive new ideas about the social and ethnocentric uses of the genre, as well as its interrelation with ideas of race, animal husbandry, and nation building in early modern Spain.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6766-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Introduction: A Country of Shepherds
    (pp. 3-32)

    Miguel de Unamuno locates the initial inspiration for hisEn torno al casticismo(1902) [On Castilian National Essence] in this reflection on how the importance of being a country of herdsmen affects the essence of Spanish national identity. While the prologue states that his reflection over the state of Spain preceded the Spanish-American war of 1898, and that, therefore, the book is not influenced by it, it is significant that he is recalling precisely that particular memory in the wake of the moment in which the Spanish empire was dissolved with the loss of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines....

  6. Part One: Sheep Herding and Ethnocentrism in Early Modern Spain

    • 1 Sheep Herding and Discourses on Race
      (pp. 35-74)

      Sheep herding was the main economic activity in late medieval and early modern Spain. Long before the colonization of the New World, and well into the nineteenth century, the exportation of raw wool to textile factories in Flanders and Italy was the main source of foreign currency for Castile (Phillips and Phillips xi–xviii). While the importance of sheep herding and the pervasiveness of shepherds in early modern Spain have been amply studied by historians, literary scholars have paid only marginal attention to how sheep herding is reflected in the Spanish imaginary, nor have they pursued the economic and historical...

    • 2 Rustic Culture and the Invention of the Spanish People
      (pp. 75-111)

      As the previous chapter has shown, the traditional trope that conceived of a people as a community of sheep was used in early modern Spain to discuss notions of racial purity and social engineering. In these metaphors, the shepherd is usually an isolated figure that stands for the monarch, described only in relation to the herd that he guards. There is, however, another array of pastoral symbols that focus on shepherds as forming a community. When dealing with either sheep or shepherds, these are taken as rhetorical constructs that serve as symbols for a collective identity. Rephrasing Benedict Anderson’s well-known...

    • 3 In the Land of Pan: Pastoral Classicism and Historiography
      (pp. 112-148)

      If theatrical and pictorial displays of rustic shepherds promoted them as a symbol of “the Spanish people,” they coexisted with an idealized and stylized version of a literary shepherd that extended its identification to a different social level. In contrast with rustic characters, a more idealized figure of the shepherd emerged in pastoral romances during the second half of the sixteenth century. Yet how do pastoral romances construct an ideal of Spain that denies its Islamic and Jewish legacies if their seemingly atemporal idyll exists outside history and therefore they do not explicitly address the issue? Pastoral romances share some...

  7. Part Two: Contesting Ethnocentrism within the Arcadia

    • 4 The Moor in Arcadia
      (pp. 151-185)

      The previous chapter explored how Spanish pastoral romances constructed an image of primeval Spain and a landscape cleansed of ethnic “contaminations.” Nevertheless, it would be too deterministic to argue that all pastoral romances automatically participate in this ethnocentric vision of Arcadia. In the same way that pastoral romances became a privileged vehicle for conveying an ethnocentric refiguring of early modern Spain, they were also a site of contestation. This chapter investigates those pastoral texts which participated in the debate over the place of the Moorish legacy in Spain between the 1560s and the expulsion of the Moriscos in 1609. It...

    • 5 Imagining the Spanish Arcadia after 1609
      (pp. 186-218)

      The previous chapter analysed those pastoral romances that questioned the fundamental ethnocentricism of the Spanish Arcadia. After 1609, however, there is an important feature that differentiates the writing of pastoral. Philip III’s decree that year expelling the Moriscos radically altered the imaginary of cultural and racial purity. Rather than placating ethnocentricism, the measure set the precedent that entire ethnic communities could be expelled from Spain, even if Christian – and Moriscos had been formally Christians since their forced baptism at the beginning of the sixteenth century (Tueller 153).¹ This alteration is foreshadowed in Cervantes’s oeuvre: the second part ofDon Quixote,...

    • Conclusion: Pan’s Labyrinth
      (pp. 219-238)

      Guillermo del Toro’s filmEl laberinto del fauno(2006) tells the story of pockets of rural resistance (also known asmaquis) against the Franco regime in the mountains of Aragon, in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Half historic film, half horror movie, it explores the ghosts that haunt Spain’s more recent history. The film does not bear a direct relation to this book: the faun that inhabits the underground is taken from fairy and gothic tales rather than from the literary pastoral tradition, there is no representation of sheep herding, and the rural setting is anything but an...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 239-280)
  9. Works Cited
    (pp. 281-320)
  10. Index
    (pp. 321-344)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 345-345)