December 13 , 2007

Textual Agency

Writing Culture and Social Networks in Fifteenth-Century Spain


Textual Agency examines the massive proliferation of poetic texts in fifteenth-century Spain, focusing on the important yet little-known cancionero poetry – the largest poetic corpus of the European Middle Ages. Ana M. Gómez-Bravo situates this cultural production within its social, political, and material contexts. She places the different forms of document production fostered by a shifting political and urban model alongside the rise in literacy and access to reading materials and spaces.

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At the core of the book lies an examination of both the materials of writing and how human agents used and transformed them, giving way to a textual agency that pertains not only to writers, but to the inscribed paper. Gómez-Bravo also explores how authorial and textual agency were competing forces in the midst of an era marked by the institution of the Inquisition, the advent of the absolutist state, the growth of cities, and the constitution of the Spanish nation.

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