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Who wore the trousers in eighteenth-century Spain? The role, function and potential of satire in José Clavijo y Fajardo's pamphlet El tribunal de las damas (1755)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-228
Number of pages25
JournalDieciocho
Volume36
Issue number2
DatePublished - 2013

Abstract

José Clavijo y Fajardo’s pamphlet of 1755, El tribunal de las damas, was his first foray into publishing. It reveals to us an eager young man from the remote Canary Islands using his considerably literary talents to set out his intellectual wares and begin to make a name for himself in the Spanish capital. An allegorical satire on women’s apparently relentless pursuit of fashion to the extreme of wearing a headdress shaped like men’s breeches, El tribunal demonstrates the sparkling wit, skilled command of rhetorical language, and moral purpose of the man who was to become celebrated as the author/editor of the highly successful Madrid periodical, El pensador (1762-3, 1767). This article uses a variety of theoretical ideas on the role, function and potential of allegorical satire to explore how Clavijo employs multiple rhetorical techniques of play, display, provocation and inquiry in order to maximize the potential of satire not merely as a moral art form but as a multifaceted response to complex changing times.

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