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El Sueño

Cartographies of Knowledge and the Self


Jacqueline C. Nanfito

One of the most celebrated texts of the Hispanic Baroque, El sueño has been identified by critics as one of the inaugural voices of a Latin American feminist literary tradition. This study is unique in that it focuses upon the poetic conception of space within the text. It is through the exploration and exploitation of the dialectics of physical space that Sor Juana is able to construct a verbal labyrinth that genuinely reflects the intricacies and ambiguities inherent in the word and the world of seventeenth-century colonial Mexico. On the wings of poetic imagination, Sor Juana emerges from the marginalized depths of silence and shadows, transgressing spatiotemporal boundaries within the literary act, in the attempt to discover and colonize a space of her own, in which to freely express herself in the quest for omniscience and subjective identity.