The Architecture of Love and the (Meta)Theater of Memory in Calderón's El escondido y la tapada.

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  • Author(s): WEIMER, CHRISTOPHER B.1
  • Source:
    Revista de Estudios Hispanicos. jun2018, Vol. 52 Issue 2, p667-689. 23p.
  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      This essay examines the relationship between the early modern discourses of love and memory in Calderón's 1636 comedy El escondido y la tapada. The work's action takes place almost entirely within one setting: the Madrid house from which the protagonist César finds himself unable to escape. Calderón exploits this setting to bring together his era's architectural theories of memory and its mnemonic theories of love. The ars memorativa recommended that its adepts visualize their memories as invented or real buildings within the rooms of which they placed evocative images, including those of attractive women, while lovesickness was considered a disorder of the memory, from which the arresting image of a beloved could not be dislodged. In El escondido y la tapada, the onstage house serves as a psychological metaphor given polyvalent scenic form, representing not only César's dysfunctional psyche, jointly occupied by the two women with whom he is simultaneously (though not equally) in love, but both their minds as well. Moreover, this device self-reflexively links El escondido to the era's much-theorized memory theaters, such as those of Giulio Camilo and Robert Fludd, and invites a metatheatrical reading of the play as an exemplary comedia de capa y espada. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]