Inscribed Power: Amulets and Magic in Early Spanish Literature

Inscribed Power: Amulets and Magic in Early Spanish Literature

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Ryan D. Giles
Toronto Iberic
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
328 Pages
ISBN 9781442646070
Published Aug 2017
Online discount: 25%
 $70.00    $52.50

In Inscribed Power, Ryan D. Giles explores the function of amuletic prayers, divine names, and incantation formulas that were inscribed and printed on parchment, paper and other media, and at the same time inserted into classic literary works in Spain. Giles’ insightful analysis of the intersection between amulets and literary texts offers fresh and original interpretations of well-known texts such as the Poema de mío Cid, the Libro de Alexandre, the Libro de buen amor, Celestina, Lazarillo de Tormes, and the Buscón. Inscribed Power is a fascinating work that highlights specific amuletic texts that were used to heal, protect, or otherwise provide a blessing or curse to discover how their powers could influence fictional lives at different moments in the development of Spanish literature.

Ryan D. Giles is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Indiana University, Bloomington.

List of Illustrations


Introduction Literary Amulets

Chapter One Amuletic Manuscripts

Chapter Two Naming God

Chapter Three Amuletic Voices

Chapter Four The Bawd’s Amulet

Chapter Five Outlaw Prayers

Postscript Amuletic Afterlives

Works Cited

"Inscribed Power constitutes a major scholarly contribution to the study of the esoteric textual universe to which the pre-modern word belonged. Giles’s book discovers a numinous world in which inanimate objects are imbued with magic, in which words and texts are fortified by metaphysical powers, and where a word or a name alone may be placed at the service of either good or evil. This is a key study for understanding the history of knowledge and the epistemologies and associative beliefs that shaped medieval and early modern textualities. Scholars can miss it only at their peril."

E. Michael Gerli, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish, University of Virginia