"La música ha sido hereje": Pastoral performance and cultural hybridity in Los baños de Argel

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Abstract

Cervantes's play Los baños de Argel has received ample attention for the study of captivity, the interrelations between Muslims and Christians in the Mediterranean and the fictionalization of Cervantes's own experience. In this article, I focus on the analysis of a short passage of the third act in which Christian captives celebrate Easter with three different public performances: a mass, a musical interlude with the participation of Moorish musicians, and the staging of a pastoral drama. By contextualizing my analysis within the process of eradicating the Moorish legacy from Spanish culture, I show that the conflicting reencounter of Christian captives with cultural hybridity underscores the quandaries of creating a "pure national culture" in early modern Spain by exposing the pastoral mode as a vehicle for articulating Iberian anxieties over cultural sameness and difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of the Comediantes
Volume62
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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