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Sor Juana's Second Dream: A Novel
     

Sor Juana's Second Dream: A Novel

5.0 1
by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Alicia Gaspar De Alba
 

ISBN-10: 0826320929

ISBN-13: 9780826320926

Pub. Date: 10/28/2007

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

This bold novel unravels the mystery and complexity of the woman Carlos Fuentes calls "the first great Latin American poet." Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), poet, playwright, rhetorician, and musician, is often equated with Sappho, the lesbian poet whom Plato baptized the "Tenth Muse."

The Mexican nun has fascinated readers around the world for

Overview

This bold novel unravels the mystery and complexity of the woman Carlos Fuentes calls "the first great Latin American poet." Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), poet, playwright, rhetorician, and musician, is often equated with Sappho, the lesbian poet whom Plato baptized the "Tenth Muse."

The Mexican nun has fascinated readers around the world for centuries as scholars have attempted to understand her brilliance, her feminism, the affairs of her heart, her decision to enter a convent at the beginning of her luminous intellectual career.

Juana Ramírez de Asbaje, an illegitimate criolla, is sixteen when word of her self-taught erudition travels to the palace in Mexico City and she becomes an attendant to Doña Leonor Carreto, Marquesa de Mancera. Wanting only to study, confused by her love for la Marquesa, and loathe to marry, in five years Juana becomes Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz in the Convent of Santa Paula of the Order of San Jerónimo. There, her quill becomes her salvation and damnation as her notoriety mounts with each new artistic commission. Popular with court and clergy, she receives a stream of guests at the convent, among them la Condesa de Paredes, who becomes Sor Juana's intimate friend. More than two decades later, after brilliantly defending her right to think, teach, and write, Sor Juana appears before the Inquisition and abruptly withdraws from the spotlight.

Mixing fiction with Sor Juana's own words, and drawing on the most recent Sor Juana scholarship, Alicia Gaspar de Alba creates the most full-bodied portrait of Mexico's Tenth Muse to date. This remarkable novel about a remarkable woman will enlighten a new generation of readers, and stoke the interest of devotees who already are captivated by the inspiring Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

"An adventuresome exploration into the lyrical and historical vision of an extraordinary woman, written by an extraordinary novelist who has given us a new possibility to dream and invent Sor Juana Inés all over again."—Marjorie Agosín, Wellesley College

"Beautifully written, without doubt the best book I have read this year. A masterpiece."—Greg Sarris, author of Watermelon Nights

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826320926
Publisher:
University of New Mexico Press
Publication date:
10/28/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
474
Sales rank:
1,013,831
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Fianchetto: June 16931
Castling: 1664-16709
The Middlegame: 1672-168081
The Onyx Queen: 1681-1688177
The Endgame: 1689-1692325
Check: January-August 1693393
Mate: 1693-1695443
Author's Postscript459
Acknowledgments463

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Sor Juana's Second Dream: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of Mexico's Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695) is one of the great thinkers and poets of the 17th century and an iconic figure in women's history. In this intelligent, thoroughly researched novel, Gaspar de Alba goes beyond the established facts and paints a fictionalized, sometimes controversial portrait. Sor Juana, a prodigy of erudition from an early age, chose the veil, not because she felt a calling, but because marriage was even more unthinkable. Defying the Inquisition and the profoundly patriarchal world she lived in, she wrote and read prolifically and publicly until she was threatened into silence by the Church hierarchy. She then renounced her 'worldly' ways and completely surrendered to religion, ceasing all writing and communication with the outside world. As Gaspar de Alba tells it, Sor Juana was a lesbian. She makes a convincing case by juxtaposing the nun's own poetry with actual events and fictional journal entries. Commendably, Sor Juana's flaws are not glossed over she is portrayed as vain, prejudiced, and difficult. This work of fine scholarship and vision should increase awareness of a compelling historical figure. Brilliantly written, is a must for any lesbian reader.