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María de Zayas, Magic, and #MeToo, by Veronica Menaldi

Veronica Menaldi, The University of Mississippi

Resources

María de Zayas y Sotomayor, La inocencia castigada

English translation: María de Zayas y Sotomayor. The Disenchantments of Love: A Translation of Desengaños Amorosos. Trans. Harriet Boyer, SUNY P, 1997. Google Books snippet view, p. 175. 

English translation of Picatrix: A Medieval Treatise on Astral MagicTrans. Dan Attrell and David Porecca, Pennsylvania State UP, 2019. Google Books snippet view, p. 146-7 and 193-4

Aljamiado libro de dichos maravillosos: Libro de dichos maravillosos (Misceláneo morisco de magia y adivinación). Spanish Trans. Ana Labarta, CSIC, 1993.  Google Books snippet view, p. 64. More information on this manuscript in Spanish.

Further Reading

Brownlee, Marina. The Cultural Labrinth of María de Zayas. U of Pennsylvania P, 2000.

Wacks, David. Framing Iberia: Maqāmāt and Frametale Narratives in Medieval Spain. Brill, 2007. 

Rogríguez-Rogríguez, Ana M. “Early Modern #MeToo: Maria de Zayas’s Response to Women’s Confined Lives,” Hispanic Issues Online (25:2020), Confined Women: The Walls of Female Space in Early Modern Spain, article 10.

Discussion Questions

  • What comparisons can be made with earlier Iberian texts featuring older women go-betweens? Consider Trotaconventos with Don Melon y Doña Endrina in Juan Ruiz’s 14c Libro de bueno amor, and Celestina with Calisto and Melibea in Fernando de Rojas’s 16c La Celestina/La Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea. Consider strategies used by the go-betweens, the linguistic or material tools used, the punishments that occurred, and possible motivations.
  • Why is the necromancer portrayed as Moorish in the historical context of the Morisco expulsion (1609-1614)? What does distancing of magical practice do?
  • Compare this novela and earlier or contemporaneous Iberian Arabic grimoires. Consider love spells in texts like the Picatrix (13c translation of 10c Arabic Ghāyat al-Hakīm) or the 16/17c Aljamiado Libro de dichos maravillosos. What items were necessary for the spells—both in the novela and the grimoires—and what were the intended results? Are such comparisons fruitful?
  • Consider the novelas in the context of contemporary movements like #metoo. Are these stories similar? How is the complexity of gender relations nuanced as both men and women contributed to doña Inés’s unjust suffering? 

To Cite this Page

Menaldi, Veronica. “María de Zayas, Magic, and #MeToo,” Middle Ages for Educators, April 20, 2020. Accessed[date]. http://middleagesforeducators.com/uncategorized/”maria-de-zayas,-magic,-and-#metoo,”-by-veronica-menaldi/