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Synopsis

One of the most widely-read and translated Spanish works in sixteenth-century Europe was Fernando de Rojas' Celestina, a 1499 novel in dialogue about a couple that faces heartbreak and tragedy after being united by the titular brothel madam. In 'Celestina' and the Ends of Desire, E. Michael Gerli illustrates how this work straddles the medieval and the modern in its exploration of changing categories of human desire - from the European courtly love tradition to the interpretation of want as an insatiable, destructive force.

Gerli's analysis draws on a wide range of Celestina scholarship but is unique in its use of modern literary and psychoanalytic theory to confront the problematic links between literature and life. Explorations of influence of desire on knowledge, action, and lived experience connect the work to seismic shifts in the culture of early modern Europe. Engaging and original, 'Celestina' and the Ends of Desire takes a fresh look at the timeless work's widespread appeal and enduring popularity.

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