Culture of the Baroque offers José Antonio Maravall's most comprehensive vision of the baroque in Spain as a historical phenomenon that encompasses virtually all aspects of seventeenth-century social and cultural life. Maravall's study reappraises the conventional view of the baroque as the privileged locus of Spanish literary and historical production by appealing to the secularized post-Hegelianism of Jacob Burckhardt and Heinrich Wölfflin. In particular, Maravall's analysis draws on two related elements in the post-Hegelian approach to early modern historiography that contemporary work tends to ignore or even contradict: a nominalist view of the baroque that rejects the transcendent claims of Hegelian historiography and an explicit embrace of subjectivism as the necessary condition of historical scholarship. Maravall's adherence to these foundational principles of post-Hegelian historiography illuminates the original stakes of early modern periodization and their radical deformation over time. In the process, his work not only facilitates a reassessment of many of the conventional claims made for the Spanish baroque but, more important, establishes a theoretical perspective from which to evaluate contemporary scholarship on the baroque as a historical and aesthetic concept.

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