Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Writing and Revenue in Zorrilla's Don Juan Tenorio

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2008), 85, (4), 513–532.

Abstract

In recent years, criticism of Zorrilla's Don Juan Tenorio has brought to light the importance of writing in the hero's erotic enterprises and has explored it through the lens of contemporary theories of language and textuality. This essay reexamines Zorrilla's fascination with both writing and orality by situating it within its historical context. Specifically, it relates Zorrilla's manipulation of the trope of prosopopeia — a standard feature of the Don Juan legend — to the economic revolution of the 1840s in Spain: Juan de Mendizábal's policy of desamortización or disentailment, which sought to break up the land monopolies of the Church and nobility and to open these properties to the market. Through a close reading of Zorrilla's treatment of writing, orality and money, the essay attempts to shed light on the political message of the play.

Varios estudios recientes han examinado la función de la escritura del don Juan de Zorrilla en relación con teorías recientes del lenguaje y de la textualidad. Este ensayo sitúa la fascinación con la escritura (y también con la oralidad) en la obra dentro de su contexto histórico relacionando la manipulación de la prosopopeya por Zorrilla con la política de la desamortización en España durante los años 1840. Por medio de una lectura minuciosa del tratamiento de la escritura, la oralidad y el dinero, intentamos aclarar el mensaje político de la obra de Zorrilla.

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Amann, Elizabeth