Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Los almanaques de Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora: Aspectos literarios y herramienta para analizar “Infortunios de Alonso Ramírez” y “Parayso occidental”
by Peraza-Rugeley, Aurora Margarita, Ph.D., The University of Oklahoma, 2011, 226; 3454101
Abstract (Summary)

The heart of this work is the corpus of holographic almanacs of Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora (1645-1700). Sigüenza y Góngora was one of New Spain's most notable scholars, a man who wrote on topics ranging from astronomy to religion, and who authored poems as well as chronicles. Some of his works are well-known, but researchers have paid little attention to his thirty years of annual almanac production. Due to their ephemeral nature, only six of Sigüenza's almanacs have survived: those from 1678, 1690, 1692, 1693, 1694, and 1696. New Spain's seventeenth-century almanacs, like all almanacs produced within the Spanish crown's territories, were censored by the Inquisition, an ecclesiastic tribunal that answered to the Spanish crown and was devoted to suppressing ideas contrary to the Catholic faith. At a time when astronomy and astrology had not been completely separated the Inquisition scrutinized almanacs in order to remove any suggestion of astrological influence on human destiny, an idea directly contrary to the doctrine of the individual's free will to choose between good and evil.

The seventeenth-century almanac was a hybrid genre. It provided forecasts on agricultural, medicinal, and maritime matters, besides it commented on religious holidays to be respected for a society immersed in the Counterreformation. Siguenza's own almanacs also became a forum for his sense of criollo pride; moreover, he colored these same documents with personal information couched in rhetorical formulas borrowed from hagiographies. In this way, Sigüenza infused his scientific works with the techniques of this literary religious genre. This dissertation analyzes Sigüenza's almanacs and compares them with two of his other works that share similar concerns: Parayso occidental (Western Paradise) a convent chronicle that offers a rich source of information on medical practices; and Infortunios de Alonso Ramirez (Misfortunes of Alonso Ramirez) an adventurous maritime narrative that provides information related to the sailing and travel practices of the time. These analyses ultimately illuminate not only the literary production of Sigüenza y Góngora, but also offer more knowledge regarding New Spain's seventeenth century.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wray, Grady C.
Commitee: Boggs, Bruce, Colin, Jose Juan, Cortest, Luis, Watson, Mary Jo
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 72/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American literature, Religion, Latin American history
Keywords: Almanacs, Almanaques, Infortunios de Alonso Ramirez, Mexico, New Spain, Parayso occidental, Seventeenth century Mexico City, Siguenza y Gongora, Carlos
Publication Number: 3454101
ISBN: 9781124628776
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