Inter fanum et profanum. Peregrinajes textuales en la literatura española del siglo XVI
Despite the belief that Spanish literature during the Counterreformation functioned as propaganda in service to the traditional idea of the pilgrimage, this article examines a body of texts from the latter half of the sixteenth century, and demonstrates that they functioned in the liminal space between the profane and the sacred. Within this space, the tensions between secularity and spirituality were fought out, leading to complex and often bewildering hybrid texts. Bartholomé de Villalba’s unpublished Peregrini curioso shows both a secularization of the pilgrimage concept and an ostentatious affirmation of Spain as a harbor of Catholic piety. Jerónimo de Contreras’ Selva de Aventuras recasts the pilgrimage idea as a love interest, and presents marriage and the renunciation of marriage as competing suggestions. Fernão Mendes Pinto’s Peregrinação can be read either as the hagiography of St. Francis Xavier, or as criticism of a completely irremediable practice of piratical colonization.