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By Nicholas Spadaccini, Luis Martin-Estudillo

Essays specialise in Baroque as an idea and type of study which has been crucial to an figuring out of Hispanic cultures over the past a number of hundred years

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Armstrong 17–18) The idea of “eroding borders” should be nuanced, for we know that fences are being raised to separate people along economic, ethnic, and religious lines. And, as for “lifestyle” options, or the freedom to choose how one leads one’s life, it must be recognized that is an idea which is particularly ingrained in our own context where, in theory, you can aspire, as the saying goes, to “be all that you can be” or to construct multiple and ever-changing identities (see also Vidal in this volume).

In its maniacal thirst for formal beauty, this emphasis on aesthetics reveals a lack of worldly happiness which is at the core of its mechanism. In short, aestheticism is the other side of melancholy (see Hunt Dolan on Góngora’s exemplary case). Moreover, the power of illusion that is made so explicit in this effort covers up a painful reality and coincides with the asceticism of some of the great figures of the century. In order to confront the “cadaverous face” of the Hispanic Baroque, I take into account a vast space of epochal symbolic elaboration, focusing on the interpretative field of discourse or representation as mediator.

Benjamin, Walter. The Origin of German Tragic Drama. London and New York: Verso, 1998. Bourdieu, Pierre. Ce que parler veut dire. París: Fayard, 1982. Buci-Glucksmann, Christine. La folie du voir. Une esthétique du virtuel. Paris: Galilée, 2002. _____. Orlan: Triomphe du baroque. Marseille: Images en manoeuvres, 2000. xxxiv I N T RO D U C T I O N Calabrese, Omar. Neo-Baroque. A Sign of the Times. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992. Calloway, Stephen. Baroque Baroque. The Culture of Excess.

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