Jesus Botello, Associate Professor of Spanish
Associate Professor of Spanish
University of Delaware
224 Jastak-Burgess Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Jesús Botello specializes in Spanish Golden Age literature and culture. Specifically, his research focuses on the intersections between literature and politics and between literature and discourse in the visual arts, technology, chivalry and medicine. Additional interests include material culture, political science and astrology. He teaches courses on Cervantes’ Don Quijote and Novelas ejemplares, Golden Age Theater and introductions to Medieval and Golden Age literature.
Dr. Botello’s monograph, Cervantes, Felipe II y la España del Siglo de Oro, examines how Philip II’s strategic priorities and his decision-making style influenced Cervantes’ Don Quijote in concrete and meaningful ways. The monarch’s emphasis on written communication, the messianic character of his kingship and his obsession with collecting (particularly relics) serve to critically reevaluate Cervantes’s masterpiece. Cervantes, Felipe II y la España del Siglo de Oro is arguably the first monograph that studies in detail the impact of Philip II’s policies on Cervantes’ novel.
He has also published, together with Professor Cristina Guardiola, a critical edition of the first book of Amadís de Gaula. Additional publications include scholarly articles in journals such as Anales cervantinos, Cervantes, Hispanófila, Laberinto, Romance Notes, and Bulletin of Hispanic Studies. His current book project deals with the representation of Homer and Classical Antiquity in the Early Modern Period.
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Cervantes, Felipe II y la España del Siglo de Oro
In this monograph, Dr. Botello argues that Don Quixote’s obsession with books of chivalry and his faith in the written word can be read as a subtle criticism of the process of bureaucratization of Spain that peaked during the reign of “The Prudent King.” He also studies the opposing means of communication in Don Quijote, of the spoken word. He examines how the illiterate Sancho Panza and his good judgment in Barataria represent Cervantes’s idealization of the spoken word, and his desire to return to a utopian Golden Age based on orality. Finally, Dr. Botello compares the space of the cave of Montesinos in the second part of the novel and the monastery of the Escorial. He suggests that in this episode Cervantes is parodying Philip II’s vast collection of relics in the Escorial, as well as creating his own literary Wunderkammer (cabinet of curiosities), as an attempt to emulate and compete with the royal collections installed by Philip II in the Escorial.
Amadís de Gaula, Libro Primero
Amadís de Gaula is a beautiful tale of the chivalric exploits of the legendary knight, Amadís. It is also the best and most famous example of the literary genre of the Libros de caballerías (books of chivalry) in Spain. It would be difficult to exaggerate the popularity and diffusion of Amadís de Gaula. An authentic Golden Age best-seller, this work was read by all social classes, from aristocrats and kings to peasants without any formal education at all. It was also the work with the most number of editions (at least nineteen in Spanish) and as such it established the literary paradigm upon which the chivalric genre was built in Spain and throughout Europe. This is an edition designed for native speakers of English. The language has been modernized and the text includes translations, explanatory notes and a glossary designed to help the student.
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