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The Refracted MuseLiterature and Optics in Early Modern Spain$
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Enrique Garciá Santo-Tomás

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226376462

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226465876.001.0001

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(p.181) 7 Interventions
The Refracted Muse

Enrique García Santo-Tomás

, Vincent Barletta
University of Chicago Press

“Interventions” reflects on the impact of the spyglass and the telescope in two political satires. The section “The political intervention I: The transatlantic prism” deals with the sophisticated view of the spyglass in the vignette “Los holandeses en Chile (The Dutchmen in Chile),” included in the satire La hora de todos (The hour of all, 1650) by Francisco de Quevedo (1580–1645)—a writer who may have met Galileo in Rome in 1616, and who portrays himself as a lynx in his treatise to Philip IV El lince de Italia u zahorí español (The lynx of Italy or the Spanish diviner, 1628). The second section, “The political intervention II: The transalpine prism,” studies an emblem, empresa 7 from Diego de Saavedra Fajardo’s Empresas políticas (Political advice, 1640). With the motto auget et minuit (waxes and wanes) and a telescope as the pictura, or image, the Spanish moralist offers a fascinating meditation on the limits and abuses of absolutist power.

Keywords:   spyglass, politics, vision, Francisco de Quevedo, Diego de Saavedra Fajardo, emblem

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