Longing for Justice: The New Christian Desengaño and Diaspora Identities of Antonio Enríquez Gómez

by Warshawsky, Matthew D

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation studies the dream narratives and accompanying interpolated semipicaresque stories of Antonio Enríquez Gómez in order to understand the satirizing aims of an exiled Spanish New Christian author. In El siglo pitagórico y vida de don Gregorio Guadaña, La torre de Babilonia, and La inquisición de Lucifer y visita de todos los diablos, Enríquez Gómez addresses corruption and deceit in the dominant ideology. Using allegorical settings whose satirical characteristics reflect the seventeenth century, Enríquez Gómez calls for the reform of greed, false appearances, and pride. The dissertation explores how, within the framework of Judeo-Christian teachings, the author challenges the social order of places such as a fictionalized Babylon and an infernal Inquisition that in varying degrees are metaphors for Spain. The dissertation also argues that the New Christian perspective of Enríquez Gómez’s works differentiates them from similar texts of his contemporary, Francisco de Quevedo, by substituting converso dissillusionment for the “stock” Golden Age type. This perspective is evident in Enríquez Gómez’s criticism of the Spanish Inquisition; in a definition of original sin that reflects a converso’s exile, longing, and rootlessness; and in the assertion of the superiority of virtuous deeds to ethnicity. Aided by theories of the moveable positionality of speakers and of the impermanence of human subjects, the dissertation shows how mobile narrators in the texts oppose injustice and hypocrisy from multiple spaces. Enríquez Gómez does not write as a Judaizer, and satirizes most bitterly New Christians who inform against each other. The reforms his speakers suggest would have benefited society in general, without regard to ethnicity. As well, the narrative voices of the author’s dream and picaresque fiction offer insight into the mind of a writer determined to fight the immorality that he felt caused his social and economic marginalization. His praise for virtuous conduct in government, the professions, and individual relations and his criticism of the absence of such conduct confirm his awareness of widespread social degradation. Our greater knowledge of his works can validate the contribution to Golden Age literature of a New Christian author who expresses an important but understudied component of Spanish culture.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:antonio enriquez gomez spanish literature golden age new christians


Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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