Title

El diablo y el mercado: Problematicas ideologicas en la prosa postridentina (1554--1614)

Date of Completion

January 2008

Keywords

Literature, Romance

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Focusing on the fields of Literature, History, Law and Cultural Studies, including topics like Ideology, the Law, and the Spanish Inquisition, the purpose of this study will be to show how the Devil figure becomes an "empty signifier", and is subject to different ideological uses through the book trade, and is projected in the public sphere of politics through the themes of disease, poverty and marginality. This study reveals a premeditated ideological purpose that functions differently in each of four texts included in this study. The intimate relation between the Devil and social and economic preoccupations are not merely fortuitous in an age that witnessed an increasing commercialization (or distribution) of texts on the market. From this perspective, historical and cultural factors such as the edicts promulgated by the Council of Trent, the economic transition from feudalism to the incipient bourgeois societies, and the internal logic of the emerging book market and industry, make the Devil an object of demand and consumption for a reading public with a well-defined set of preferences. The importance of this study consists in attempting to explain how the intimate relation between the Devil and social and economic preoccupations is not merely fortuitous in an age that witnessed an increasing commercialization (or distribution) of texts in the market. On the contrary, this relation reveals a premeditated ideological purpose that functions differently in each of the texts included in this study. In each a close analysis of the Devil figure reveals a rhetorical strategy that brings light to the dominant power struggles for the authors of these books. ^