On the Reception and Rejection of Geomantic Divination in Early Modern French and Spanish Literature

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On the Reception and Rejection of Geomantic Divination in Early Modern French and Spanish Literature

Speaker: Hannah Schlimpen (Romance Philology; University Trier)

Time: 29 June 2021, 6:15 pm–7:45 pm Central European Time (US East Coast: 12:15 pm–1:45 pm EST; China: 0:15 am–1:45 am CST) 

This talk is part of a series of virtual lectures hosted by the International Research Consortium “Fate, Freedom, and Prognostication” at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. The full schedule is available at http://ikgf.fau.de/events/upcoming-events/

 

For online participation, please register anytime at http://ikgf.fau.de/lectures

 

Abstract:

The paper explores the fictionalization of geomancy (or *ars punctorum*) in François Rabelais’s *Third Book of Pantagruel* (1546) and Francisco de Quevedo’s *Dreams and Discourses* (1627), approaching the geomantic phenomenon from a historical perspective. I examine the technical,
theological, epistemological, and practical dimensions of this art as conveyed through the contemporary geomantic manuals, as well as the anti-divinatory texts that have sought to discredit and eradicate this fortune-telling technique since its reception in Western Europe at the
outset of the High Middle Ages. My aim is to demonstrate 1) the extent to which Rabelais and Quevedo were familiar with both traditions, and 2) how these two eminent authors of early modern prose fiction participate – within and through the fictional space of their literary writings – in shaping the complex discursive field of early modern geomancy, playfully but unequivocally satirizing this technique and especially ist practitioners.

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URL: http://ikgf.fau.de/lectures