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Aurality as Methexis and the Rise of Castilian Literature: The Case of the Siete Partidas

Aurality as Methexis and the Rise of Castilian Literature: The Case of the Siete Partidas

By Maristela Verastegui

PhD Dissertation, City University of New York, 2018

Miniature from Las Siete Partidas (Alfonso X), c. 1256-1265)

Abstract: Participation is the engine of cultural production. In the case of literature, the privileged modality that enables participation is auditory perception.

In order to articulate a theory of literary cultural production based on auditory perception, participation needs to be analyzed in the context of Platonic methexis, understood as an embodied experience facilitated by brain mechanisms of sensory processing and cognition, which manifest in specific ways in written texts.


The Siete Partidas, the first complete and systematic legal code of the Western World, provides the perfect case study to test a theory of literary cultural production based on methexis via auditory perception, because it is one of the first complete texts written in Castilian, making it ideal to illustrate the ways in which methexis affects the process of elaboration of a cultural product in a language that does not have a precedent in the form of an extensive body of texts, nor has it had time to develop a normalized system of grammar and rhetoric.

Click here to read this dissertation from the City University of New York

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