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El esoterismo en la cultura europea: el tetraedro del conocimiento en las novelas de Javier Sierra

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This dissertation focuses on the study of Western esotericism in European culture and forms a method of discovering esoteric topics in cultural artifacts. Using the definition as a corpus of

This dissertation focuses on the study of Western esotericism in European culture and forms a method of discovering esoteric topics in cultural artifacts. Using the definition as a corpus of knowledge historically divided between esoteric, reserved for the intellectual and power elite, and exoteric, available for everybody, I argue that esotericism represents the knowledge that always accompanied the cultural production of the Mediterranean zone, adding a spiritual meaning to any visual or written work of art. The contemporary novels of the past decade by the Spanish author Javier Sierra are fully based on a historical investigation, in which esotericism appears as a nuclear topic, revealing the great interest of the public in the mysteries of the past. Through the postmodern cultural theories, together with sociological and historical methods, the dissertation explores the cultural processes that lead to the shift of esoteric knowledge in the 20th century from secretive to publically available. The study defines the purpose of recreating the European past and investigates the secrets of European cultural formation. Through an insider-outsider perspective, it analyzes the cultural artifacts, that appear in the novels in the form of reference or as a nuclear part of the plot. It presents the scope of esoteric currents, that are divided between the discipline of religion, science, and philosophy, which form the tetrahedron of knowledge as a theoretic model for this study. The constructed model reveals the interaction of the three disciplines throughout the history and examines the reasons for the religious disenchantment of the 20th century, proven through Digital Humanities’ research as the predominance of science over the Catholic Church, which allowed the esoteric knowledge to reappear. The study explores the affiliation of esotericism with science through the scientific-cultural inquiries between the ancient myths and reality, by showing that man’s consciousness had always been dependent on the scientific perception of the world. It explores the pagan symbolism that is mixed with Christian traditions and reveals the stories, hidden behind the representation of the greatest works of art, by combining and analyzing the wisdom of the past and the contemporary spiritual inquiries in their philosophical meaning.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Traduttori traditori: the tasks of the creative "traitor" and the problematic of translation (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Martí, and Octavio Paz)

Description

Every act of communication, and therefore, reading, are in themselves acts of translation and interpretation, as the reader creates a mental representation or reconstruction of the text, extrapolating meaning from

Every act of communication, and therefore, reading, are in themselves acts of translation and interpretation, as the reader creates a mental representation or reconstruction of the text, extrapolating meaning from it. Interlinguistic translation adds another dimension to these hermeneutic processes, and in the movement through space and time, constant re-interpretation, new translations, and, often, modern theories and perspectives, can interfere with or bring clarity to the meaning of the original text, as well as add to the myth-creation of the writers themselves.

This study centers on some of the great literary figures in poetic and essayistic production in the world of Spanish-speaking letters: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Martí, and Octavio Paz. These figures represent not only important literary movements going from the baroque to modernismo, to the vanguardia and to the creation of the self-conscious “modern” poet, but also are among the most well known Spanish-language writers in the English-speaking world. They are all self-aware creators, who, in distinct ways, join poetry, critical essays and theory that are at once an extension of and revolve around their personal poetics, projected toward the currents of their respective epochs.

Finding problematic moments in translation theory and practice, and studying them in the context of the analysis of these great literary figures, at the same time contributes to a new understanding of translation theory itself. These ‘case studies’ expose certain key moments of existing translations, moments that later contribute to critical and interpretive dialogue in a type of hermeneutic spiral of influence. They also show the importance of translation as a contribution to cultural changes and literary movements. This ultimately aids in the understanding of the important points of contact between the many worlds occupied by these great writers and the ways in which they, and in turn, their translators, recreate the contexts in which they were produced.

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Date Created
  • 2016