The Circular Pilgrimage

An Anatomy of Confessional Autobiography in Spain

by John Rosenberg (Author)
Monographs XVI, 204 Pages


The Circular Pilgrimage approaches Spanish autobiography from the perspective that no significant formal distinctions exist between fictional and nonfictional discourse. It demonstrates that formulas as diverse as those created by Santa Teresa and Cela's fictional Pascual Duarte depart from the same narrative tradition that attempts to transform the creative subject by means of aesthetic principles. The autobiographers compose their stories both to produce and to verify a personal transformation. In both spiritual autobiography and secular confessions, the conversion is developed in the form of Christianized romance that includes the stages of fall, exile, and redemption. The author shows how this underlying structure is undermined by the autobiographers themselves. The promise of renovation through art is revoked as the language that makes the transformation possible is shown to be unstable and therefore incapable of representing an image of either the old or the supposed new self. The writer becomes a «pilgrim who never arrives at Judea.»


XVI, 204
ISBN (Hardcover)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt/M., Paris, Wien, 1994. XVI, 204 pp.

Biographical notes

John Rosenberg (Author)

The Author: John R. Rosenberg is an associate professor of Spanish at Brigham Young University. His research interests range from romantic literary theory to twentieth-century narrative. Dr. Rosenberg has published Resonancias románticas: Evocaciones del Romanticismo hispánico, and several articles in scholarly journals. Currently he is an Alcuin Fellow at B.Y.U. and is working on a book on Spanish romantic literary theory and aesthetics.


Title: The Circular Pilgrimage