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Tilting Cervantes
Baroque Reflections on Postmodern Culture

Author(s): Bruce R. Burningham

Tilting Cervantes examines several contemporary texts -- Fight Club, Brazil, The Matrix, and The Moor's Last Sigh, among others -- by reflecting them against a cluster of early modern Spanish and Latin American literary works, principally Don Quixote. Through a deliberate juxtaposition of these cross-cultural and cross-epochal texts, this book explores the notion that each of these varied cultural products can be read -in a very Borgesian manner- as precursors to each other, especially for contemporary readers who may not come to them in their "proper" chronological order. At the same time, and within this larger juxtaposition, this book examines the interrelated baroque and postmodern preoccupation with mirrors and self-reflexivity, and thus argues that many postmodern writers and performers do not so much break new ground as simply rediscover terrain already explored by such baroque literary figures as Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

Biography of Author(s)

Bruce R. Burningham is Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Illinois State University, where he specializes in medieval and early modern Spanish and Latin American literature, Hispanic drama, and performance theory. He is the author of Radical Theatricality: Jongleuresque Performance on the Early Spanish Stage (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue UP, 2007). He is a recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant.


  • "For my part, while I may not agree with every aspect of Burningham's daring and well-argued view of the Spanish Golden Age, I certainly plan to use Tilting Cervantes the next time I teach a course on Cervantes or the picaresque."
  • Tilting Cervantes is a gutsy book.
  • This must-read book will doubtless engender lively debates that will enrich multiple disciplines for years to come.
    --Renaissance Quarterly