abstract: Composed around 1575 and published in 1622, Alfonso de Santa Cruz's Dignotio et cura affectuum melancholicorum was one of the most elaborate clinical texts written on melancholy in early modern Spain. Mostly known for its description of glass delusion, the Dignotio has been typically read either as possible "source material" for Cervantes's El licenciado Vidriera , or as a text whose literary features are, at best, accessory to scientific knowledge. Through a close examination of the framing, texture, and focus of the glass man's story, I complicate the facile identification of the narration as a case history, and showcase the importance of close, narratologically sensitive readings of early modern medical texts. Such readings, I argue, reveal the manifold—and sometimes contradictory—views on madness present in medical writing, and offer a new perspective on the medical–literary dialogue in early modernity, without confining it to mere "influence" or "inspiration."
Hispanic Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Apr 6, 2017
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