This work examines the place of literature in Golden Age
Spain by exploring the implications of the shifting means of evaluating the worth of the
individual in a culture bent on preserving traditional societal divisions.
A blend of textual analysis of canonical
literature and theoretical concerns, the examination of traditionally divergent sets of
literary genres explores two disparate worldviews, the cultural elite versus the
marginalized. The book analyzes questions of
social mobility and linguistic performance: how battles for the acquisition and
preservation of status lead to the ultimate revelation of the selfs
verbal and intellectual skills as merely a ruse.
emergence of a self defined by its success in social exchange then becomes a
parallel for commercial exchange in a developing capitalist society.