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Reading: “Mi amparo y Fortaleza”: Seeing Psalms through a Trans-Iberian Worldview in Espejo fiel de v...

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“Mi amparo y Fortaleza”: Seeing Psalms through a Trans-Iberian Worldview in Espejo fiel de vidas (Life’s True Mirror)

Authors:

Catherine Lily Wojda ,

University of Portland, US
About Catherine
English and Spanish double major at the University of Portland.
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Joshua Henderson,

University of Portland, US
About Joshua
Spanish and Computer Science student at the University of Portland.
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Matthew Warshawsky

University of Portland, US
About Matthew
Professor of Spanish at the University of Portland.
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Abstract

This article studies Espejo fiel de vidas (Life’s True Mirror, 1720) of Daniel Israel López Laguna as an example of Baroque Spanish poetry that reworks the book of Psalms for an audience that like the author were conversos, or New Christians, that is, Spanish and Portuguese Catholics of Jewish origin and their descendants. Likewise, it studies the geographic and spiritual journey of one such Iberian New Christian through the Hispano-Portuguese Jewish diaspora who became a practicing Jew upon settling in Jamaica. Besides showing elements of this journey in López Laguna’s paraphrase of Psalms, the article explores how the poet incorporates features of Golden Age Baroque Spanish into his text. As a result, it positions López Laguna as a Jewish and Spanish author in ways that never seem incongruous, despite the exclusion of Jews from Spain and Portugal during the two centuries before he wrote the poem. Our analysis of specific passages of Espejo fiel de vidas shows how López Laguna navigates a hybrid worldview reflective of his years living first as a New Christian and subsequently as a “New Jew.” The following pages accompany the poet on this journey by situating Espejo fiel within his lived experiences; connecting the poem to trends of converso and Baroque Spanish literature; and discussing how the spiritual wandering, or peregrinaje, and Inquisitorial consciousness that permeate the text represent the converso condition.
How to Cite: Wojda, C.L., Henderson, J. and Warshawsky, M., 2021. “Mi amparo y Fortaleza”: Seeing Psalms through a Trans-Iberian Worldview in Espejo fiel de vidas (Life’s True Mirror). International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 13(1), pp.1–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2168-0620.0307
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Published on 03 Mar 2021.
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