PhD ceremony Mr. K. Mierau: Re-framing the pícaro. The transient marginal of early modern Madrid between possible world and agent perspective
|When:||Th 14-11-2013 at 12:45|
PhD ceremony: Mr. K. Mierau, 12.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: Re-framing the pícaro. The transient marginal of early modern Madrid between possible world and agent perspective
Promotor(s): prof. P.G. Bossier
Konstantin Mierau’s thesis studies the literary representation of the transient marginals of early modern Madrid, taking as its corpus prominent works from the first generation of narrative literary representations of Madrid, such as the Guzmán de Alfarache (1599), the Guía y avisos de forasteros (1620), and the Historias peregrinas y ejemplares (1623). The literary pícaro, archetypal character of the Spanish literature of the Golden Age, be it in the picaresque or in other genres, is often used to fill in the blanks in the history of the transient marginal. However, if a literary character is equated with a historical social actor there is no way of studying the many manipulations, selectivities and omissions that underlie the literary representation. Taking my cues from the practice of microhistory, I have chosen to juxtapose various types of sources: literary texts, testimonials from city police, decrees by the municipality, inventories of criminal cases, and statements from witnesses at a criminal trial involving vagrant foreigners. The literary texts present “possible worlds” that differ in many ways from the perceptions of historical actors in the city. A juxtapose of the literary possible world and the agent perspectives reveals that in the literary texts the city space is reconfigured, foreigners are left out, and the forbidden nature of gathering for the purpose of gossip is omitted. Revealing these manifold significant differences between possible worlds and agent perspectives opens up new research paths for the study of literary representation, and its role in the negotiation of the social space of the city.