Textual Agency: Writing Culture and Social Networks in Fifteenth-Century Spain

Textual Agency: Writing Culture and Social Networks in Fifteenth-Century Spain

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By Ana M. Gómez-Bravo
Toronto Iberic
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2013
World Rights
344 Pages
ISBN 9781442647206
Published Nov 2013
Online discount: 25%
 $67.00    $50.25
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442667525
Published Dec 2013
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $67.00

Textual Agency examines the massive proliferation of poetic texts in fifteenth-century Spain, focusing on the important yet little-known cancionero poetry – the largest poetic corpus of the European Middle Ages. Ana M. Gómez-Bravo situates this cultural production within its social, political, and material contexts. She places the different forms of document production fostered by a shifting political and urban model alongside the rise in literacy and access to reading materials and spaces.

At the core of the book lies an examination of both the materials of writing and how human agents used and transformed them, giving way to a textual agency that pertains not only to writers, but to the inscribed paper. Gómez-Bravo also explores how authorial and textual agency were competing forces in the midst of an era marked by the institution of the Inquisition, the advent of the absolutist state, the growth of cities, and the constitution of the Spanish nation.

Ana M. Gómez-Bravo is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Washington.


Chapter 1: Poetry, Bureaucracy, and the Social Order

Chapter 2: Escribano Culture and Socioprofessional Contiguity

Chapter 3: Pervasive Papers

Chapter 4: The Hands Have It

Chapter 5: Papers Unite

Chapter 6: Paper Politics

Chapter 7: Books as Memory

Chapter 8: Arranging the Compilation

Chapter 9: The Book of Fragments


Works Cited

Textual Agency is an interesting and uniformly well-documented book. In it, Ana Gómez-Bravo offers a meticulous reading of primary sources that illuminates the interplay between the material nature of texts and the spaces and social agents that contribute to their production and dissemination.”

Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez, Hispanic Studies Department, Davidson College

‘Reversing the aristocratic trend in the analysis of medieval literature, while opening academic field to more complex social and economic elements of exploration, is without a doubt the most significant achievement of this monograph.’

Óscar Perea-Rodriguez, SHARP News vol 25:01:2016

‘This is an important book that opens the door to formulating a broad synthesis leading to a deeper understanding of how cancioneros came into being, the social role they and poetry in general played in the construction of authorial personas in fifteenth century Castile.’

E. Michael Gerli, Renaissance Quarterly, vol 68:03:2015