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Discourse Analysis as Sociocriticism

Discourse Analysis as Sociocriticism: The Spanish Golden Age

Antonio Gómez-Moriana
Copyright Date: 1993
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Discourse Analysis as Sociocriticism
    Book Description:

    Gómez-Moriana applies contemporary literary theory to classical texts of the Spanish Golden Age, including Lazirillo de Tormes, Don Quijote, Tirso de Molina’s Don Juan play, and Columbus’s Diary. “Gómez-Moriana’s skillful handling of literary theory is matched by his thorough scholarship and excellent knowledge of history.” --Nicholas Spadaccini

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8432-8
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction Semiotics and Philology in Text Analysis
    (pp. 1-8)

    Although theillusionof the literary text’s autonomy as well as that of the work of art in general arises from the Enlightenment’s emancipatory project (that is, the attempt to establish a science, morality, and art answerable respectively only to scientific, ethical, and aesthetic norms), literary criticism did not begin to isolate its object of study until very recently. Such has been, since the European Renaissance, the influence of historicism, in its various modalities, and the identification of philology with its objectives and methods. It was thus in the twentieth century—and under the impact exerted almost simultaneously by structural...

  5. Chapter 1 The Subversion of Ritual Discourse: An Intertextual Reading of Lazarillo de Tormes
    (pp. 9-27)

    Working with the hypothesis that only the existence of a discursive correlate in sixteenth-century Spain could explain the irruption inLazarilloof the autobiographical fiction characteristic of the narrative mode of the picaresque novel, and given that not only the communication circuit that frames this narration but also its lexical chart and narrative program point to the practice of confession (whose addressee is God, the confessor or spiritual director, or a tribunal—perhaps that of the Inquisition), I began searching a few years ago for autobiographical texts that might document such a practice.¹ My hypothesis was confirmed by the discovery...

  6. Chapter 2 Intertextuality, Interdiscursiveness, and Parody: On the Origins of the Narrative Form in the Picaresque Novel
    (pp. 28-43)

    In his 1968 address to the Third Congress of the International Association of Hispanists in Mexico, Fernando Lázaro Carreter (1970, 1972) proposed a review of the concept of “picaresque novel” starting with the “processes of its creation and formation.” Only by carefully establishing (1) the distinctive features outlining the morphology of a literary genre from its very first historical manifestation and (2) its generative power, as manifested by the various transformations giving rise to subsequent imitations, can we actually reach a definition of the genre's dynamic structure—a definition that will in turn make possible the historical ordering of texts...

  7. Chapter 3 Autobiography and Ritual Discourse: The Autobiographical Confession before the Inquisition
    (pp. 44-57)

    During the years of Franco’s dictatorship, an anecdote circulated in Spain that to mind both the intellectual training and the working methods of the Spanish Civil Guard. The post commander of a city receives this telegram from provincial authorities: “Impending seismic activity—epicenter in your town-take appropriate measures.” Three days later—after having had his men work unremittingly, we suppose—the post commander answers his chief’s communiqué, also telegram: “Seismic activity quelled—Epicenter and his men arrested.”

    Today, my childhood memories of Spain allow me to understand this anecdote day-to-day experience embellished by popular imagination: the power of the machine...

  8. Chapter 4 Narration and Argumentation in Autobiographical Discourse
    (pp. 58-64)

    The inclusion of autobiography in the narrative genre is not as evident as it may seem. By establishing two systems or “two different levels of utterance” (“history” and “discourse”) that concurrently distribute the French verb tenses and grammatical persons, Emile Benveniste (1971) expressly classifies autobiography as discourse, along with “correspondence, memoirs, plays, didactic works, in short, all the genres in which someone addresses himself to someone, proclaims himself as the speaker, and organizes what he says in the category of a person” (209). Historical utterance, on the contrary, which was once defined as “narration of past events” and is presently...

  9. Chapter 5 Evocation as a Literary Procedure in Don Quijote
    (pp. 65-85)

    Under the pretext, by no means original at that time, of parodying books of chivalry,Don Quijoteemerges as a trueLiteraturroman.¹This dimension of Cervantes’s novel surfaces not only at the level of the story, as it relates the antics of a fool whose pathological distortions of his readings lead him to confuse fiction with reality, but also at the level of narration, which strictly speaking consists of a discursive and fictitious historical interplay between author, reader, and text.² In this manner, it can account both for its own production in the novel itself as well as for its...

  10. Chapter 6 Discourse Pragmatics and Reciprocity of Perspectives: The Promises of Juan Haldudo (Don Quijote I, 4) and of Don Juan
    (pp. 86-97)

    Perhaps their working on language and on the imaginary defines the specificity of literary practices, their social dimension (and social role) as well as the confluence of different discursive formations in the literary text. It does not follow, however, that the literary text organizes itself in a purely mechanistic way. On the contrary, it is located in dialogical interaction with a concrete sociohistorical conjuncture, is mediated by various ideological instances, and participates in the contradictory network of the discursive formations of its surroundings. Thus a contextual boundary must be established that might allow an understanding of the “grand dialogue” in...

  11. Chapter 7 The Antimodernization of Spain
    (pp. 98-106)

    The term antimodernization may call to mind the currently fashionable maneuver whereby to the poorly defined concept of “modernity” is opposed a concept that derives from it— “postmodernity,” which is as poorly defined as the framework from which it originates. One does not always credit Spanish (a language where “isms” abound) with being able to distinguish between the terms of this contemporary debate and those forged by the historiography of Hispanic literatures, which has accustomed us to opposing an aesthetic movement known as modernism to what has been called the Generation of 1898, an ideological movement (as if aesthetics and...

  12. Chapter 8 Narration and Argumentation in the Chronicles of the New World
    (pp. 107-123)

    In Spanish historiography the year 1492 is doubly symbolic, for it coincides not only with the crowning of a long process of national unification, but also with the beginning of Spain’s territorial expansion on a global scale. National unification was consummated with the armed conquest of the last Islamic bastion in Iberian lands, the kingdom of Granada, and the expulsion by decree of the Jews. The territorial expansion that would lead to the annexation of the earldoms of Rosellón and Cerdaña (1493), the occupation of the kingdom of Naples (1503), the conquests of Melilla (1497) and Orán (1509), and other...

  13. Chapter 9 The Emerging of a Discursive Instance: Columbus and the Invention of the “Indian”
    (pp. 124-136)

    A personal anecdote should help us better understand the preoccupations from which this study originated. Some years ago, while traveling in Mexico, I visited the ruins of Teotihuacan. My visit coincided with the festivities of the Quetzal coatl temple, a celebration that brings together a great number of native families. What at first seemed to be a museum thus became the gathering point of a living people. Commenting to my wife on the colors, forms, and themes of the murals of the Quetzalpapalotl palace, as well as on their similarities to the art of the aboriginal population of Canada, without...

  14. Chapter 10 The (Relative) Autonomy of Artistic Expression: Bakhtin and Adorno
    (pp. 137-144)

    At the beginning of the century, the first attempts to go beyond traditional categories of literary research—creation (artistic or literary), originality, inventiveness (where the author is transformed into an epic hero of sorts, admirable and inimitable), influences (as sources or as effective history, the GermanWirkungsgeschichte) and the author’s subjective intentions—brought about a twofold empirical orientation. On one hand arose the study of aesthetic material, as advocated, for example, by schools of stylistics; on the other, the “abstract objectivism” (as Bakhtin judiciously put it) of Saussurean synchrony and its outgrowth, structuralism. Exploring the path forged in Germany by...

  15. Epilogue
    (pp. 145-150)

    In an article in the journalGorn,Tretyakov (1923, 1972) asks himself: How is it that man, who as a child draws, dances, sings, and invents “good words,” as an adult is truly impoverished in his expressive faculties and is satisfied with only occasionally enjoying the creativity of an artist? Gerhard Goebel-Schilling (1988) comments on Tretyakov’s question:

    As a Marxist Tretyakov knows the answer. He knows very well that if the average adult’s relationship to Art has been reduced to pure consumption or to what we used to call “reception,” this process is the result of the division of tasks...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 151-162)
  17. Works Cited
    (pp. 163-172)
  18. Index
    (pp. 173-179)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 180-180)