By David R. Castillo

The time period anamorphosis, from the greek ana (again) and morphe (shape), designates a number of viewpoint experiments that may be traced again to the creative advancements of the 1500's and 1600's. Anamorphic units problem audience to event varied kinds of perceptual oscillation and uncertainty. photos shift in entrance of the eyes of questioned spectators as they stream from the guts of the illustration to the margins, or from one facet to the opposite. (A) Wry perspectives demonstrates that a lot of the literature of the Spanish Golden Age is weak, and certainly calls for, indirect readings (as in anamorphosis).

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Extra resources for (A)wry views: Anamorphosis, Cervantes, and the early picaresque

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According to Maiorino, the picaresque countered canonical standards while supporting itself in what it violated (xvii). In this precise sense, picaresque marginality would imply “neither exclusion nor alienation […] Instead, it fostered dialogism” (xvii). In my re-examination of Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache, I connect this dialogism or center-periphery dialogics with the double image that, as we have seen, is characteristic of the anamorphic form. I would like to suggest that Alemán stages a confrontation between two different (and ultimately opposed) perspectives in his drive to expose the deceptions of the world and to warn individuals against a life of disorderly freedom.

When his wife abandons him, Guzmán commits a series of robberies only to end up in the galleys, where he eventually repents. This final repentance takes the form of a self-sacrificial act through which Guzmán repudiates his “picaresque identity” in 37 Chapter Two the name of reason and morality. In the end, Guzmán sees the light, confesses his guilt, and accepts the Father’s mandate to give up his search for freedom, pleasure, and material goods: the “apetito,” “gusto,” “deseo,” “pecado,” “delectación,” “sensualidad,” and “pasiones” that had filled the heart of the pícaro (“aquel corazón viejo de antes”).

2: 237) Guzmán’s poignant comments on the immorality and corruption of his superiors may be said to undermine the basis of the hierarchical structure of society. In accusing his wealthy and honorable masters of crimes more harmful and insidious than his own, Guzmán would seem to question the validity of a system of authority that rests on the maintenance of strict social divisions. Critics such as Van Praag, del Monte, and Parker have long ago connected the appearance of a critical view in Guzmán to certain changes in the narrative tone.

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