Celestina and the Ends of Desire

Celestina and the Ends of Desire

by E. Michael Gerli

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Celestina and the Ends of Desire by E. Michael Gerli

One of the most widely-read and translated Spanish works in sixteenth-century Europe was Fernando de Rojas' Celestina, a 1499 novel in dialogue about a couple that faces heartbreak and tragedy after being united by the titular brothel madam. In 'Celestina' and the Ends of Desire, E. Michael Gerli illustrates how this work straddles the medieval and the modern in its exploration of changing categories of human desire - from the European courtly love tradition to the interpretation of want as an insatiable, destructive force.

Gerli's analysis draws on a wide range of Celestina scholarship but is unique in its use of modern literary and psychoanalytic theory to confront the problematic links between literature and life. Explorations of influence of desire on knowledge, action, and lived experience connect the work to seismic shifts in the culture of early modern Europe. Engaging and original, 'Celestina' and the Ends of Desire takes a fresh look at the timeless work's widespread appeal and enduring popularity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442694293
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 06/18/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

E. Michael Gerli is Commonwealth Professor of Hispanic and Early Modern Studies at the University of Virginia.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


  1. The Chain of Desire: Linking Language and Longing
  2. Celestina, Mistress of Desire
  3. Calisto’s Hunt: The Pursuit of Carnal Knowledge
  4. Yearning to Look: Desire and the Pleasure of the Gaze
  5. Complicitous Laughter: The Sounds of Desire
  6. Melibea Speaks: Language and Feminine Desire
  7. The Desire to Belong and the Body Politic
  8. Precints of Contention: Locating Desire and Ideology in Celestina
  9. Pleberio and the Ends of Desire

Works Cited

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