Cuerpos Públicos, Cartas Privadas (ss. XVI-XVII)
Keywords:correspondence, Luisa de Carvajal, Magdalena de San Jerónimo, relics, bodies, myth of Mary Magdalene
AbstractThe analysis of the correspondence between two sixteenth/seventeenth century female aristocrats —Luisa de Carvajal, Magdalena de San Jerónimo— enables us to reect on the value of relics and their relevance in the Spanish Baroque Counter-Reformation. We correlate Luisa's yearning for martyrdom as well as her mystical and religious exaltation with some of Magdalena's commitments at the Penitents House, at the Flemish Court, and as founder of the prison for prostitutes and female delinquents known as the Casa de la Galera, and, therefore, with dierent bodies and semiotics: the ill body of men, that polluting of 'working girls'; the bodies of virgins, of prostitutes, of actresses. These relate to dierent public spaces: the brothel, the theatre, the Magdalene asylum. And, in a very special manner, to the res publica and the Spanish Empire. All this based on the continuous background of Mary Magdalene's myth, a fundamental text that unites all the women considered here.
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