By David Castillo

"David Castillo takes us on a travel of a few terrible fabrics that experience not often been thought of jointly. He sheds a fantastical new mild at the baroque."
---Anthony J. Cascardi, collage of California Berkeley

"Baroque Horrors is a textual archeologist's dream, scavenged from vague chronicles, manuals, minor histories, and lesser-known works of significant artists. Castillo reveals stories of mutilation, mutation, monstrosity, homicide, and mayhem, and gives you them to us with an inimitable aptitude for the sensational that still rejects sensationalism since it is still so grounded in historic fact."
---William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University

"Baroque Horrors is a big contribution to baroque ideology, in addition to an exploration of the ugly, the terrible, the wonderful. Castillo organizes his monograph round the motif of interest, refuting the assumption that Spain is a rustic incapable of equipped clinical inquiry."
---David Foster, Arizona kingdom University

Baroque Horrors turns the present cultural and political dialog from the common narrative styles and self-justifying allegories of abjection to a discussion at the background of our glossy fears and their colossal offspring. whilst lifestyles and loss of life are severed from nature and historical past, "reality" and "authenticity" can be skilled as spectator activities and staged points of interest, as within the "real lives" captured by means of truth television and the "authentic cadavers" displayed around the globe within the physique Worlds exhibitions. instead of taking into account digital fact and staged authenticity as fresh advancements of the postmodern age, Castillo appears again to the Spanish baroque interval in look for the roots of the commodification of nature and the horror vacui that accompanies it. aimed toward experts, scholars, and readers of early smooth literature and tradition within the Spanish and Anglophone traditions in addition to someone attracted to horror fable, Baroque Horrors bargains new how one can reconsider huge questions of highbrow and political background and relate them to the trendy age.

David Castillo is affiliate Professor and Director of Graduate reviews within the division of Romance Languages and Literatures on the college at Buffalo, SUNY.

Jacket artwork: Frederick Ruysch's anatomical diorama. Engraving replica "drawn from existence" by means of Cornelius Huyberts. picture from the Zymoglyphic Museum.

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Not surprisingly, van Dijck draws an explicit connection between what she sees as von Hagens’ “postmodern” free-play with inanimate human bodies and Katherine Hayles’ conceptualization of the culture of the posthuman: “The artist-anatomist’s plastinated cadavers seem exemplary of a culture that is ‘inhabited by posthumans who regard their bodies as fashion accessories’ ” (van Dijck 125). As we can see, the temptation here is to overstate the historical distinctiveness of our present “end-point of humanist culture,” which would have ‹nally and irrevocably erased the distinction between being and and so on have gathered.

But it is Otto’s purpose to emphasize that this is an objective reality, not merely a subjective feeling in the mind; and he uses the word feeling [. ] 17 Baroque Horrors and Park are right in noting that the proper “enlightened” attitude toward wonder and curiosities has been skepticism and indifference since the “antimarvelous Enlightenment,” it is also true that we need only browse through the stacks of popular reads and movies at supermarkets, video stores, and airport terminals (from outlandish and sensationalist tabloids, to horror and sci‹ novels and comics, to ‹lm and video game fantasies) to realize that “deep inside, beneath tasteful and respectable exteriors, we still crave wonders [.

While Baena’s point is well taken, it is also important to recall that the fascination with the odd and the misshapen is central to both mannerist anticlassicism and baroque expressionism, even if it is true that the cult of the monstrous feeds very different, contradictory, and sometimes opposing statements about the nature of the cultural and political order. Baena’s approach to mannerism draws from the work of art theorist and historian Arnold Hauser. Ernest Gilman makes a similar point apropos early modern English literature and theater in The Curious Perspective: Literary and Pictorial Wit in the Seventeenth Century (1978).

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