Building female cultural identity: Sor Juana in contemporary juvenile literature.
The first part of my study will begin with a discussion of pedagogical approaches to storytelling in the modern classroom that highlight the importance of narrative as an inspirational educational tool. Sor Juana, as seen in Francisco Javier Estrada's study Pedagogia y Filosofia: Las pasiones de Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (Pedagogy and Philosophy: The Passions of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz), staunchly supported education, especially of talented women, and considered her own access to knowledge imperative in the quest for the truth for which God had intended her mighty intellect.
Sor Juana's appearance in contemporary juvenile literature therefore serves to answer the question that the erudite nun posed in her Respuesta, "?que inconveniente tiene que una mujer anciana, docta en letras y de santa conversion y costumbres, tuviese a su cargo la educacion de las doncellas?" (For what impropriety can there be if an older woman, learned in letters and holy conversation and customs, should have in her charge the education of young maids?); (1) that the female teacher is an essential model, whether she speaks to her students in person or through the written word. It is in the classroom setting, therefore, that the story of Sor Juana's astounding curiosity and intellect is transmitted to the next generation of budding scholars. Unaware of their academic potential, the schoolchildren are also born uninitiated into a system of dominating patriarchal hierarchy that grants access to information to men. I will argue, therefore, that storytelling in the classroom offers the means to build a new cultural myth; one in which women have the power and innate ability to assume roles traditionally held by men.
The concept of identity-building through narrative echoes, to a certain extent, Benedict Anderson's definition of the imagined community in which a "nation's" inhabitants are not programmed with an inherent sense of identity; the identity is constructed as an imagined collective memory among the people. As children are similarly born without preconceived notions of traditional gender roles in education, they represent the new potential for collective memory-building within the community. While not a "nation" in and of themselves, female students come to represent a collective and marginalized societal group which myth serves to unite under the common purpose to overcome patriarchal limitations imposed on them. As Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler point out in their well-known feminist writings, the strict binary division of gender under which society operates is a myth itself. Storybooks that feature Sor Juana as the main subject, therefore, prove an intentional desire among the molders of pedagogy to subvert the traditional binary myth and to incorporate female strength, autonomy, inquisitiveness, and power into the myth of the new generation of scholars; a new myth that blurs the distinction between male and female in the scholarly realm.
In this sense, Sor Juana's image in juvenile literature represents more accurately Duncan S.A. Bell's concept of a mythscape in his article "Mythscapes: Memory, Mythology, and National Identity," or "the temporally and spatially extended discursive realm in which the myths of the nation are forged, transmitted, negotiated, and reconstructed constantly."2 In my reading of this juvenile literature, Sor Juana is the icon for the myth of a female "nation;" she is the collective myth in which female students are asked to seek inspiration and group identity.
Education itself is an instrument of power, and Sor Juana's appearance in a variety of books for a juvenile audience reflects a product or ideology posited by the authors, the publishers, the teachers who choose the books as part of their curriculum, and even parents who choose to read the literature to their children. As described by Louis Althusser, in his essay "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses," and later by his disciple Michel Foucault in Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, educational institutions wield power that shapes the communities over which they preside. This power, evident especially in Sor Juana's seventeenth-century society, determines access to knowledge. Sor Juana fashioned herself an equal--if not superior--intellectual to the men who surrounded her, victim of a system which privileged men's access to learning. This trend, though seemingly archaic, continues to the present day, as seen in Madeleine Arnot's contemporary study Reproducing Gender?: Essays on Educational Theory and Feminist Politics and in the collection of essays Mujer y eduacion: El sexismo en la ensenanza (Woman and Education: Sexism in Teaching) that features Arnot's work. It is evident that the children's books that feature Sor Juana aim precisely to counteract the patriarchal discourse that dominates educational systems by giving the female student agency to control her educational destiny, showing that she is capable of the same intellectual successes for which Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz proved so famous. The authors attempt to overwrite the patriarchal discourse and refashion it to place women writers in a position of power.
Sor Juana herself was a practitioner of her own cultural myth, conscious of her power to control the ways in which her readers and critics viewed her experiences. As Luciani points out, the nun sculpted her own legend by means of childhood anecdotes in her famous Respuesta a Sor Filotea de la Cruz. These anecdotes have since been rewritten by the authors of several works of a biographical nature featuring Sor Juana as well as in several books designed to appeal to a young audience. The image of Sor Juana--the nun who refused to eat cheese because she heard that it made people unintelligent, who cut her hair to punish herself for slow learning, who urged her mother to allow her to dress as a man so as to be able to attend the university--lives on in the memories of present-day schoolchildren.
It is with this self-fashioned myth in mind that I tailor the second part of my study: a close reading of several texts written for children, most of which take Sor Juana as their main character. The texts, which include children's books such as A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines by Pat Mora, Sor Juana: A Trailblazing Thinker by Elizabeth Coonrod Martinez, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz by Kathleen Thompson, and My Very Own Room by Amada Irma Perez, demonstrate Sor Juana's self-fashioning rewritten in a contemporary children's literature that serves to inspire young female scholars and subvert the patriarchal order to which Sor Juana fell victim at every point in her life. Sor Juana also appears as the subject of several electronic resources for children including the selection "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz" on a website called Mexico para ninos (Mexico for Children), and again on the website Munal: Museo Nacional del Arte (Munal: National Museum of Art) in a selection entitled "Recursos Pedagogicos: Sor Juana para ninos, La Historia de Juana de Asbaje" ("Pedagogical Resources: Sor Juana for Children, the History of Juana de Asbaje"). In addition, Sor Juana appears in a short selection from Zurqui: Suplemento Educativo de la Nacion (Zurqui: Educational Supplement of the Nation) from Costa Rica, entitled "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz." In addition to the written word in both printed books and Internet resources, the myth of Sor Juana in juvenile literature must be read in both the written text and the accompanying illustrations, given that children who are too young to read use the illustrations to guide their understanding, and even children who can read are influenced by pictorial representations of the text.
Writing during the latter half of the seventeenth century, a time in which women were not granted the right to study at the university, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz proved that she could dominate--and even supersede--male writing conventions after years of profuse self-study. Estrada distinguishes her from her contemporary scholars when he notes that in Sor Juana "la pedagogia se convierte en realidad" (Pedagogy becomes reality).3 He focuses mainly on Sor Juana's famous Respuesta as he emphasizes the importance of self-study in the nun's prescriptions for humanistic education. Like the classic "padres de la pedagogia" ("fathers of pedagogy") who preceded her, including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Saint Augustine, Sor Juana's desire to educate herself translates into a call to educate all women. (4)
In Estrada's analysis, it is Sor Juana's great love of learning, evident in her anecdote concerning her insatiable desire to read at age three, that inspires her love of pedagogy: "Quien ama la sabiduria y la busca tiene todos los medios en su propia persona para aprender todos los dias: y tambien para ensenar todos los dias" (He/she who loves wisdom and searches for it has all of the means in his/her own person to learn every day and also to teach every day). (5) In this sense, the Respuesta is a pedagogical epistle in and of itself, extolling the virtues of education and the great women of the past who were learned. In a discussion of the contemporary complacent student who treats education as compulsory and dull rather than liberating and inspiring, Estrada appears to see a crisis in the way that the present day student views his or her access to knowledge and paints Sor Juana as the model for the pedagogical ideal.
Other scholars, however, especially in light of twentieth-century feminism, see a different sort of predicament in contemporary education that involves not so much of the complacency among learners that Estrada laments, but rather the continued propagation of patriarchal values through the educational system. Famous for exposing the absurdity of the myth that there exists a strictly "feminine" essence, compared in binary fashion to an innate male essence, scholars like Simone de Beauvoir echoed Sor Juana's belief that women are as capable as men in the intellectual realm. Beauvoir states, for example, in her work The Second Sex (1949), that "There are different kinds of myths. This one, the myth of woman, sublimating an immutable aspect of the human condition--namely, the 'division' of humanity into two classes of individuals--is a static myth." (6) Several decades later, Judith Butler, in Gender Trouble (1990), questions the same static division of gender categories in relation to sexuality. She states, "What happens to the subject and to the stability of gender categories when the epistemic regime of presumptive heterosexuality is unmasked as that which produces and reifies these ostensible categories of ontology." (7)
And yet in spite of revolutionary models like Sor Juana and the treatises of contemporary feminists, education scholars and sociologists see in modern educational practices the perpetual continuation of the patriarchal discourse to which Sor Juana was so opposed. In their introduction to the collection of essays, Mujer y educacion (Women and Education), Berta Gutierrez and Marina Subirats echo the theories of feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler when they comment, "Aprender a ser mujer no es un camino de rosas [...] hemos tenido que aprender las normas sociales [...] y a la vez, hemos tenidos que aprender que eramos seres sociales "especiales," de segunda categoria, sin derecho a jugar el papel protagonista que la sociedad conceda a los hombres" (Learning to be a woman is no bed of roses [...] we have had to learn social norms [...] and at the same time, we have had to learn that we are "special" social beings, of a second category, without the right to play the role of protagonist that society concedes to men). (8)
Gutierrez and Subirats, like the many feminist scholars who preceded them, view gender as a construction, evident in the emphasis they place on learning to become women through processes of socialization. Seen as part of a secondary category of human beings, Gutierrez and Subirats point out that women lack the right to play the role of protagonist in a man's world, again emphasizing the idea of gender construction as performance. If gender is constructed and there is nothing essentially feminine, the young female child can be seen as a clean slate upon which an identity is constructed. The moment that the traditional posited model of femininity is transformed from docile housewife to proactive agent in her own formation, we see the emergence of a social project to change the female condition in a way that agrees with de Beauvoir in her characterization of the "static" binary myth.
The idea of a "project," of course, implies some sort of official patronage or at least a conscious implementation; that at some point in the history of a country's education a higher power has to decide to employ such pedagogical modeling strategies to effect a transformation in the construction of female identity. For Arnot, in Reproducing Gender, state projects to level the education playing field for female students in the United Kingdom result in what she refers to as a possible crisis in the way the patriarchy self-propagates. Arnot traces feminist theory in education from its roots, emphasizing the power the state wields in terms of instituting a feminist agenda. And while her discussion centers mainly on educational practices in the United Kingdom and Gutierrez and Subirats focus primarily on Spain, their ideas easily map onto other educational systems in which the patriarchy historically instilled its power over education, for example in Latin America and the United States, where the juvenile literature on Sor Juana currently circulates. Arnot states, in relation to a discussion of power that, "such statements are not unfamiliar to any student of educational policy, especially those working within Marxist or Foucauldian traditions." (9) Arnot's reference to Foucault calls attention to the parallel the philosopher drew between prisons and schools in his work Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison: "Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?" (10) Regulatory institutions, Foucault argues, exert power over communities from a person's earliest memories: schools shape their pupils ideologically just as governments dictate offenses and their appropriate punishments. Foucault echoes, in part, the observations of his predecessor Louis Althusser who argues that children not only learn academic skills in school, but also proper rules of behavior. He notes, "To put this more scientifically, I shall say that the reproduction of labour power requires not only a reproduction of its skills, but also, at the same time, a reproduction of its submission to the rules of the established order." (11)
It is from a young age that Juana Ines is aware of these "rules of the established order;" rules that dictate that she, a female, is not permitted to attend the university. It is therefore not through being a part of the system itself that the patriarchy imposes itself on Juana, rather it is through her deliberate exclusion that she learns the supposed "rules." Through self-study, Juana Ines is further inundated with pejorative readings of the female sex (for example, St. Paul's infamous declaration that women should remain silent in church), but as she proves that her sense of logic and rhetoric actually supersede the skills of her male counterparts, she further affirms that women can be as capable as, or more capable, than men. Ahead of her time, Sor Juana states what twentieth-century feminists would later assert in regard to the arbitrary distinction between male and female, and she suggests that it is only through education that their situation can be remedied, hinting that the educational system wields tremendous power to shape and mold society. Juvenile literature that uses Sor Juana as its main character takes as inevitable the idea that educational systems exert powerful agendas, as Althusser and Foucault argue. However, the authors use this framework of power relationships to place female students in positions of power in the intellectual sphere in a discourse that questions the patriarchal values under which women have been living for centuries.
Just as gender is constructed, so too is a woman's view of her place in the educational paradigm. This juvenile literature therefore serves a twofold purpose: primarily, to indirectly teach female students that they are capable intellectuals, using Sor Juana as a real life model and cultural myth, and secondly to promote reading as the primary means by which to achieve educational success. An avid reader, Sor Juana would certainly approve. I will further discuss these characteristics through my analysis of the juvenile literature itself, but first I would like to discuss the idea of cultural myth and the ways that Sor Juana embodies such a concept. Referring to Sor Juana as "myth" does not imply that she did not exist, nor does it necessarily cast doubt on the veracity of the information that we know about her. Duncan S.A. Bell works to distinguish between collective-memory-building on the national level (in terms posited by Benedict Anderson) and the creation of myth. Memory, he argues, is remembrance, or literally the recall of shared experiences, and is therefore "not transferable (as memory) to those who have not experienced the events that an individual recalls, which means that it cannot be passed down from generation to generation, let alone 'cultivated' or constructed in the minds of those who live often hundreds of years after an event (real or imagined)." (12) If we conceive as women, in this case, young female students, as a "nation" of sorts, in search of a common identity, it is not through shared experiences that their identity is constructed at such a young age, but rather through the creation of a cultural myth that "simplifies, dramatizes and selectively narrates the story of a nation's past and its place in the world, its historical eschatology: a story that elucidates its contemporary meaning through (re)constructing its past." (13)
For young women, Sor Juana is the story of their "nation's" past; she is the embodiment of women's struggle for rights and one of the first to articulate such feelings in the Americas. She is what Arash Abizadeh calls an example of "myth-as-history," or "cases in which the historical narrative undergirds a collective identity only insofar as it is understood to be making truth claims." (14) Much of the power of the Sor Juana myth is vested in the fact that she actually existed, wrote, published, and inspired controversy and awe.
Interestingly, the Sor Juana myth began with Sor Juana herself. The sources of biographical information are rather limited: the Respuesta a Sor Filotea de la Cruz, her letter to Father Nunez, known as the Carta de Monterrey (The Monterrey Letter), and a brief biography written by the Jesuit priest Diego Calleja. Most of the information Sor Juana provided in her famous Respuesta relies on many personal anecdotes exposing her ingenuity, precociousness, and dedication to study. Luciani views the Respuesta as one of Sor Juana's many examples of literary self-fashioning. Commenting on the passage from the Respuesta in which she describes her God-given inclination toward letters, Luciani notes her formation of a unified self: "Sor Juana's evocation of her own legend in this passage would serve the same purpose: she presents her lifelong inclinacion (inclination) as a fact well known to all, and therefore undeniable. Sor Juana is preceded by her fame, a fame upon which she draws and which she will continue to shape in the anecdotes that follow." (15) In these anecdotes, Luciani sees further "reconstruction of the legendary self," as he states in reference to her claim that she learned to read at age three. (16) For him, her anecdotes serve to paint herself a "self-made woman," who, in the notable absence of adult figures flourishes intellectually and professionally. (17)
Luciani notes that through the anecdotes, "Sor Juana rouses certain textual memories in her reader, memories that serve her larger purposes; she engages gender-based polemics useful for her target argument; she sets up resonances between her life story and the subsequent proof section of the letter." (18) While Luciani uses the term "memory" to characterize Sor Juana's written anecdotes, I choose to view them in light of Bell's distinction between collective memories and myths: readers of Sor Juana's missive do not share her memories of abstaining from cheese and cutting off her hair, however when they read about this "legendary self," as Luciani calls it, she creates for them a cultural myth that can be used as an example for future generations. She also cites other female "myths" by "covertly referencing textual paradigms of exceptional women (heroic, "manly," prophetic) these citations serve to shape and promote Sor Juana's already existing legend." (19) Sor Juana's creation of her own myth, intertextually compared to other heroic women, suggests the need to propagate this myth; to reproduce it the same way that Sor Juana reiterates the myths of others.
The Jesuit priest Diego Calleja is the first to undertake the task. As Myers suggests in her introduction to Neither Saints Nor Sinners: Writing the Lives of Women in Spanish America, Calleja's biography of Sor Juana was merely one example in a predominant hagiographic tradition that played an important role in building Christian identity in the New World. (20) Written to inspire lay people in their efforts to lead more Christian lives, hagiographies consisted of biographical information pieced together from a variety of sources, often including a saintly woman's firsthand account of her own life, like Sor Juana's Respuesta. Calleja, for example, had never met Sor Juana, however he was able to procure his information from acquaintances they had in common. Because the hagiographic tests were written with a specific intent in mind--namely to inspire saintly works--the biographers often edited their texts in accordance with their religious agendas, omitting details and elaborating where they deemed it necessary. For example, Octavio Paz comments that Calleja, in his depiction of Sor Juana's life, "avoids anything that might cloud her reputation," (21) suggesting the very intentional omission of details to advance a more pious version of the nun.
In his brief account of Sor Juana's life, Calleja manages to recapture many of her mythical anecdotes as evidence of her brilliance. Perhaps the most interesting section of his biography is the inclusion of a particular detail relating Sor Juana's examination by forty university scholars while a lady in waiting to the Marquesa. Calleja notes,
[...] vn dia en su Palacio quantos hombres profesavan Letras en la Universidad, y Ciudad de Mexico: el numero de todos llegarla a quarenta, y en las professiones eran varios, como Theologos, Escriturarios, Filosofos, Mathematicos, Historiadores, Poetas, Humanistas, y no pocos de los que por alusivo gracejo llamamos Tertulios, que sin aver cursado por destino las Facultades, con su mucho ingenio, y alguna aplicacion, suelen hazer, no en vano, muy buen juicio de todo. (22)
This anecdote is posited as biographical fact elsewhere. For example in her review of Maria Luisa Bemberg's film Yo, la peor de todas (I, the Worst of All), Susan E. Ramirez' tells us that while at court, the young Juana Ines "became known for her learning. At one point the marquis assembled forty professors, professionals, and other learned men, among them theologians, writers, philosophers, mathematicians, historians, and poets, to test her knowledge." (23) Incidentally, in Bemberg's film the scene is recreated as well. In all such accounts, the teenage Juana Ines astonishes her examiners with her knowledge. Curiously, however, this experience that figures so prominently in secondhand accounts of Sor Juana's life does not appear in her Respuesta, a text in which Sor Juana hardly withholds anecdotes that serve to extol her virtues. Likewise, the sheer power of the image of a young woman stupefying the likes of New Spain's most prominent male scholars would prove a most useful anecdote to have been included in the Respuesta, suggesting that Sor Juana's famous scholarly examination may not have happened at all.
In fact, the anecdote bears a striking resemblance to an event in the life of St. Catherine of Alexandria, an Egyptian saint who, as a teenager, outwitted the emperor and a large group of scholars with the power of logic and rhetoric. Sor Juana's admiration of the superior learning and wisdom of the saint is evident in the "Villancicos" (choruses) that she wrote in St. Catherine's honor in which she exclaims, "Nunca de varon ilustre / triunfo igual habemos visto; / y es que quiso Dios en ella / honrar el sexo femineo" (No man, whatever his renown, / accomplished such a victory, / and we know that God, through her, / honored femininity). (24) Paz notes that Sor Juana saw herself in the saint, suggesting that "Catherine was one of her symbolic doubles." (25) Therefore it is possible that Sor Juana's intellectual identification with Saint Catherine that she expressed so passionately in her poetry was in fact part of her own literary self-fashioning, creating an image of Sor Juana immortalized in future biographical writings and representations, including the juvenile literature in which Sor Juana plays a central role.
Among Sor Juana's many appearances in juvenile literature, a particularly noteworthy example is A Library for Juana: the World of Sor Juana Ines by Pat Mora. The front cover image is the first "text" the reader encounters, and this particular image sets the tone for the story that follows. A young Juana Ines is surrounded by male admirers in the palace. Her place in the center of the circle indicates that she is the center of attention, and her right hand is raised to suggest command of the conversation. This image of Juana surrounded by male admirers suggests a greater motif in the myth of Sor Juana: the capable woman strong enough to hold her own in the presence of men and important people. In her left hand she holds a rose, the flower symbolizing femininity, but in this case, of a woman praised for the beauty of her mind rather than her physical appearance. This is not to say, however, that Sor Juana completely disregarded her own physical appearance. In fact, in Sor Juana's Los empenos de una casa (The House of Trials), Leonor, the character Sor Juana modeled after herself, speaks quite highly of her beauty and her inclination toward intellectual pursuits, noting the fame and envy inspired by such characteristics. Sor Juana suggests that a woman's beauty and learning are not mutually exclusive traits, as Mora and her illustrator, Beatriz Vidal, reflect in their retelling of the Sor Juana story.
Mora's intention to promote reading as a means of intellectual success is apparent from the first page of text when the narrator says in reference to Juana's attraction to her grandfather's library, "Juana liked to make a nest with his books all around her. She opened them, turning the pages and looking for pictures. She was too little to read, but she wondered what all the words said." (26) The first image is something that, in my mind, really resonates with children: the idea of building a "nest" or hiding place out of books. The tightness of the enclosure suggests safety, comfort, and escape. The author makes certain to mention that even though Juana was too young to read, she was still curious about the words, and illustrations were her gateway to finding meaning in the text. This book, in a sense, refers to itself almost metatextually in that it suggests to young children that they can learn from Juana's experience by reading Mora's book even if they are too young to read; that she is a model for all children in her insatiable quest for knowledge.
The fact that the books and the library belong to Juana's grandfather makes an immediate connection between learning and men. When Juana's older sister announces that she is going to school to learn to read, she adds, "I'm going to read books like Abuelo." (27) She thereby reiterates the connection between learning and men and hints that she will become privy to this male power by attending school. When Juana hears this, she wants to go to school, and when her mother tells her that she is too young, the dialogue again plays to children's sympathies. Identification with the protagonist from an early point in the story helps to solidify the Sor Juana myth in the minds of the audience. As she peers on tiptoe into the classroom, we are given the sense of spying on forbidden space; Juana longs to become part of the action, and as readers, we long for her to be accepted into the schoolhouse.
When Sor Juana describes her childhood anecdotes in the Respuesta, she paints herself as a woman of ambition, a characteristic that is carried over into the rewriting of her self-fashioning in Mora's book. When young Juana is told she is too young to go to school, she takes action and follows her sisters to school. Mora, however, takes the action one step further when young Juana appears at the dinner table dressed as a boy, hoping to attend the university. In Sor Juana's own account, she asks her mother if she can dress as a boy, but she never actually dons the garb of a male in order to fulfill her desires. In the children's adaptation, young Juana is willing to do whatever it takes to study, and she proves this by physically transforming into a boy. It is in this anecdote also that young Juana refuses to eat cheese, incorporating Sor Juana's own legendary self into the adaptation.
Mora's story relies heavily on rhymed phrases, making Juana a poet from a very young age. While she plays with words like "bella" (beautiful) and "estrella" (star) and "rosa" (rose) and "hermosa" (beautiful), the most interesting lines are those that appear to serve a true function in the story: the phrases Juana begins to use as her personal maxims to promote female learning. She says to her mother, "But Mama, girls can do more than spin and sew. We can study and prove all we know,"28 a line that she later repeats as justification for her stellar performance in front of the scholars at the palace. Rhymed lines in children's literature often serve a very didactic function, mainly because they are easily memorized and recited by children, ingraining themselves into the very makeup of a child's identity. In this sense, the author perpetuates the myth of Sor Juana the poet and scholar by utilizing proof of scholarship through poetry. It is Sor Juana the poet herself who reaches the audience through her poetry, albeit poetry "created" for this specific instance and not necessarily reflective of the historical Sor Juana's actual verses. The illustrations throughout the book serve to further prove this adage, juxtaposing Juana's mother's household duties with Juana's scholarly pursuits. When Juana enters the dining room dressed as a boy, Abuelo is seated at the table while Juana's mother serves dinner, suggesting the servile status of women in the household. One day Juana returns from church having won a contest, and she waves the book that she won in the air to show her mother who stands in the doorway with a basket of berries she has been picking in the garden. In this sense, Juana constantly comes "face to face" with her female destiny, glimpsed through her mother's daily chores, and she wards off her female destiny by waving the instruments of educational success in the air in protest.
The rhymes do not end with young Juana's announcements about female intellectual capabilities. While at the palace surrounded by books and scholars, she wonders aloud, "So much to see. What will I be?" (29) and the author later informs us that Juana "Cared more about books than her looks," (30) emphasizing again the importance of the cover image in which Juana is surrounded by men for her intellectual prowess and not solely because of her beauty. The repetition of rhymed phrases and anecdotes from the Respuesta helps to solidify the image of Sor Juana in the minds of the readers. It is also interesting to note that in Mora's book, young Juana begins recreating her own legend when the Viceroy decides to hold the mythical test of her knowledge in court. She agrees to the test, citing her own curiosity and her legendary self as reasons enough for taking the challenge: "My head has always been full of questions. I started reading when I was three so I could find the answers [...] I followed my big sister to school." (31) Like the historical Sor Juana who fashioned her own image in the Respuesta, the children's mythical Juana begins to recount the details of her success within the text. Therefore, it is no surprise that at the end of the story, the adult Sor Juana in Mora's book receives a copy of her own published works as a gift. "That night," the narrator comments, "Sor Juana added her own book of poems to her treasured library." (32) The connection between poetry and publication is powerful: that the rhymes that young Juana repeats throughout the story actually become genuine poetry, bound and published and permanent. It is almost as if she carries her mythical self to the library to make sure that it is read by generations to come, further emphasizing the connection between reading, knowledge, and power.
Mora appears to confirm my reading of the necessity of poetic recitation as a means of perpetuating Sor Juana's myth in her concluding remarks to the reader: "The image of the proud Mexican Muse and Phoenix of Mexico is printed on Mexican currency. Her words are memorized and recited by children and adults throughout the Spanish-speaking world." (33)
In a similar fashion, Frank de Varona, the general consulting editor of the book Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz by Kathleen Thompson, concludes his introductory remarks in regard to famous Hispanic historical figures by saying, "They had goals, and they did whatever was necessary to achieve those goals, often against great odds [...] They can be your role models. Enjoy these books and learn from their examples." (34) The didactic nature of the story, therefore, is quite apparent at the onset, and the image of a young Juana Ines on the title page conveys the same sense of comfort and security with books that we see in Mora's book, as she is seen draped cozily in a shawl, squatting down in a corner with her head covered reading a book held very close to her face. The connection between reading and comfort, as in Mora's book, is essential to draw the young reader into the imaginative world of children who like to read, promoting the agenda that reading leads to educational success. This image is further conveyed in the scene in which Juana's grandfather is described as "a gentle man who loved books and learning." (35) The illustration alongside this text is of a young, wide-eyed Juana Ines, huddled close to her grandfather as he reads to her. The narration continues to explain her desire to go to school and the amazing feat of having learned to read at age three. The connection is drawn, therefore, between the power of the written word and the comfort of family love in hope, perhaps, to alert the child "spectator" to her feeling of comfort when she is being read to by a loved one, even in the very instance of hearing Juana's story.
As Thompson rewrites Sor Juana's self-fashioning, specifically by retelling the anecdotes of hair-cutting and asking to dress as a boy to be allowed to attend the university, the narrator speaks directly to the reader: "As you can imagine, her mother said, 'No.'" (36) This direct address of the audience appeals to common child sympathies: that asking outlandish things of one's parents often results in firm refusal, something to which all young children can relate. While the young Juana of Thompson's book is surrounded by male admirers like the young Juana of Mora's adaptation, Thompson's construction of the Sor Juana myth appears to make more appeals to a child's selfish desire for attention than to proving her worth as a scholar. The myth, therefore, is of the fame associated with Sor Juana's pursuits--a fame only achievable through scholarship and learning. During the examination by scholars, the narrator comments, "No one could stump her. The forty scholars left, stunned by the knowledge and intelligence of the remarkable young woman." (37) Perhaps this book, in contrast to Mora's rendition, is designed to appeal to a child who has already entered school and who knows of the fame bestowed upon the teacher's favorite pupil. To be like Sor Juana is to be the center of attention, most favored and most well-liked. Thompson's narration continues to describe Sor Juana as socially popular: "Because of her learning and her personality, Sor Juana had many visitors, including scientists and writers." (38) In addition, Sor Juana's intellectual prowess brings her material possessions. The narrator comments, "Sor Juana often wrote poems to celebrate special occasions at court. In return, she was given expensive presents, and the convent was given special favors." (39) The value of the myth of Sor Juana is viewed in this work in terms of its material gains; that as a result of such accomplishments, Sor Juana was given any number of emotional and material pleasures to which a young reader can relate. This view of success in regard to material accomplishments is common to what some readers might see as the American myth of education; that the goal of learning is to get a good job, that a good job is defined by the financial security it brings, and the financial security thereby wields fame and prestige.
Perhaps one of the most interesting sections in Thompson's book is at the end of the story when she discusses the archbishop's response to the Respuesta: "This made the archbishop furious. As it happened, the archbishop had a terrible fear of women. He said that if a woman even entered his house, he would have the bricks she stepped on removed. He thanked God that he was nearsighted so that he wouldn't have to see women." (40) The idea of describing the bishop's misogyny in terms of fear gives Sor Juana, and women in general, a certain power in this narrative. Moreover, the idea of removing bricks and thanking God for his nearsightedness evokes an emotion of near ridiculousness in the contemporary reader. The idea that a person could be so blatantly hated for being a woman seems unthinkable, and yet the idea of the text is to make obvious the absurdity of misogyny so that more discrete forms of it can be annihilated.
If Mora's book was geared toward the most juvenile of audiences, Elizabeth Coonrod Martinez' depiction of Sor Juana in Sor Juana: A Trailblazing Thinker, appears to fall more in line with Thompson's book, speaking to a slightly more mature public. Like the other authors who attempt to promote reading as comfort, Martinez captures childhood desire for hiding and stealth when she says in regard to Juana's love of books, "one of her favorite things to do was to sneak into [her grandfather's] library and spend hours reading his books." (41) Martinez makes an interesting distinction in regard to the grandfather's characterization, especially in comparison to the aforementioned books, when she notes that "Her grandfather punished her for this, because he thought she was too young to read and would ruin his books." (42) In Mora's version, Abuelo is amused by Juana's curiosity and does not voice any objection to her nest-building in his library. In Thompson's account, he is gentle and learned and loves to read to his granddaughter. In both of these versions, it is implicit that men and learning go hand in hand; after all, it is Abuelo who owns the library and not Juana's mother, for example. But Martinez is specific when she calls attention to Abuelo's disapproval of young Juana's intrigues. In this account, the grandfather figure represents men's general disapproval of female learning. While he supplies the materials and the inspiration, this version of Abuelo does not facilitate Juana's transformation from curious child to adult scholar.
While Juana's grandfather and mother continue to impede her progress, it is the female teacher figure that facilitates Juana's journey to scholarship. Her mother forbids her to dress as a boy and attend the university, so she sneaks to her older sisters' school instead. The teacher "was impressed with this little three-year-old. She decided to go ahead and teach Juana. When Juana had learned the letters of the alphabet and how to read words, the teacher let her read some simple books. Juana felt powerful. She could read things!" (43) In Martinez' account, when family stands in the way, the educational system steps in to take control of a child's learning. The teacher, as the narrator so specifically states, gives Juana power, and even when Juana's mother finds out about her school adventures and deems her too young to continue attending, the teacher has already given Juana the tools she needs to succeed without the help of adults. In her Respuesta, Sor Juana certainly "fashions" herself the female educator, commenting on the dire need for educated women in society to pass along academic proficiency from generation to generation in the same way that women learn domestic skills. Martinez appears to rewrite Sor Juana as the female educator, therefore, in her depiction of Juana Ines' first teacher, a role of power and influence. In addition, it is Juana's determination that is meant to inspire young readers when the narrator claims, "She didn't want anything to stop her from learning." (44) It is at this moment that the cheese anecdote is introduced to prove that Juana is willing to renounce even her favorite snack for the love of learning.
Fame and admiration play a big part in the creation of the Sor Juana myth in Martinez' book. As in Thompson's story, the circle of admirers that Sor Juana develops is testament to the power she commands over them. As a woman surrounded by men, she is an emblem of the strong and intellectual woman. Martinez notes that her Latin tutor "admired her because she was so smart and so dedicated to learning. She admired him, too, because he helped her achieve her goals." (45) To Juana, the Latin tutor represents a means to an end; he is the instrument by which she will one day become powerful. And in his admiration of her intellectual prowess, the contemporary child reader is called to imagine herself the object of the teacher's adulation. When summoned to the palace to meet with the Viceroy and his wife, the narrator notes that the viceroyals "tried to imitate the royal court in Spain, and wanted to surround themselves with beautiful and smart people."46 In serving the vicereine, Juana finds herself surrounded by smart people, but in this case she is the one who is in center of the circle. The narrator describes the viceroy and his wife as being impressed by the brilliant young Juana, and in the section of the story entitled "Becoming Famous," Martinez describes the flocks of people who "came to Juana's private room and asked her opinions." (47) Her secular works made her famous throughout Spain and the colonies, and through them she gained "powerful friends" in the court. (48) However, it is precisely when these powerful friends are gone that Sor Juana begins to suffer a fall from grace. Martinez notes, "Juana was forced to sell her wonderful library of books, along with her collection of musical and mathematical instruments. She felt very sad and no longer talked to visitors or her friends from the royal palace." (49) Without her circle of admirers, Sor Juana began to lose power.
Martinez also makes certain to mention that Sor Juana had her own room at the convent, an explicit reference to physical space that emphasizes the individuality and a sense of privacy Sor Juana required to produce her intellectual masterpieces in contrast to the communal nature of life associated with convents. Sor Juana's cell was the treasured home of her personal library as well as her workspace, and therefore the solitude and accoutrements that her room provided serve as an important symbol in My Very Own Room, by Amada Irma Perez. In this story, the protagonist relates to the same desire for personal space that Sor Juana's cell provided while simultaneously echoing Virginia Woolf's cry for space and privacy for intellectual women in A Room of One's Own, published in 1929. While this children's book does not make any mention of Sor Juana, the author takes the same feminist spirit that colors the other children's book and fashions it to a contemporary setting. It is, in a sense, a story that incorporates the myth of Sor Juana so fully that she does not need to figure into the story at all. The front cover image harkens back to the initial images in the Sor Juana books: a young girl hidden in what appears to be some sort of tent, surrounded by books. Again, the illustration evokes a feeling of comfort and safety in which books are the central ingredient. The main character is unnamed in the story, but the author describes in a note at the end of the book that she intended the tale to be autobiographical. Whatever the intention of the author, the fact that the main character remains unnamed, serves to represent more fully all female children. Trapped in a man's world, the main character is surrounded by a slew of younger brothers with whom she has to share a room. In the accompanying illustration, the children are pictured in one long bed fast asleep, the male baby's foot suffocating the female protagonist as she struggles to free herself from the male space. She claims,
"A little space was all I wanted."50 Trying to set herself apart from the many boys who crowd her life, the main character seeks out a private space "where I could read the books I loved, write in my diary and dream."51 Her aspirations are very similar to those of her seventeenth-century counterpart.
As the young Juana Ines seeks assistance from her mother initially, asking permission to attend school and then the university, the protagonist also looks to her mother to remedy the situation. In much the same way that Juana Ines' mother finally allows her to live in Mexico City with her aunt and uncle, the protagonist in My Very Own Room pleads with her mother to make a private space for her in their cramped house. Seeing the determination on her daughter's face, she acquiesces. They paint and move furniture and buy new items for the room--a room tucked away behind a large curtain like a tent--and when the room is finally ready, the protagonist notes, "Something was still missing, the most important thing ... BOOKS!" (52) The desire to read directly echoes the seventeenth-century longings of the young Juana Ines, and again foregrounds Woolf's early twentieth-century proposition that women with literary potential need a space in which their pursuits can be fulfilled. As Mary Gordon notes in her forward to A Room of One's Own, "Woolf is concerned with the fate of women of genius, not with that of ordinary women; her plea is that we create a world in which Shakespeare's sister might survive her gift, not one in which a miner's wife can have rights to property; her passion is for literature, not for universal justice." (53) Therefore, it is critical to note that Perez' character desires her very own room so that she can read and write, not so that she can play with her dolls. Just as Sor Juana relied on the privacy of her cell, Perez' protagonist needs her very own room if she is to fulfill her intellectual potential.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Perez' book is the essential role that men play in the storyline in spite of the young girl's apparent suffocation in a man's world. Her brothers, father, and uncle all help her realize her dream by painting and moving furniture. When the room is complete, she settles in to read in her very own room, and yet she invites her youngest brothers into her new space to share the experience with them. Together they fall asleep "peacefully under a warm blanket of books." (54) In the same way that the archbishop's reaction to women in Martinez' book seems almost unbelievable and certainly not a practical viewpoint in contemporary society, so too does a world without men, or a world in which we fail to appreciate male contributions to society. Perez gives her protagonist her own room, and therefore the power to decide what to do there. When she invites the men back into her room, she recognizes a certain symbiosis in her world in which she acknowledges the importance of her freedom and yet her peaceful and productive coexistence with the men around her. Many of the historical Sor Juana's stimulating intellectual discussions took place with men. And while she certainly proves as an intellectual that she can dominate any typical male convention, at the same time, she does not appear to find fault with the truly brilliant male scholars who came before her--at least with any of those scholars whom she herself deemed truly brilliant.
Sor Juana's appearance on the Internet aligns well with contemporary pedagogical models that incorporate the most recent technology in practical classroom applications. This first site is explicitly designed for teachers, labeled as "recursos pedagogicos" (pedagogical resources), with several different categories of activities from which to choose. The existence of such a website indicates a certain likelihood that a teacher would actively search out resources on Sor Juana aimed at a young audience and, once again, suggests Sor Juana's importance as a female role model in the contemporary primary school curriculum. Brevity of the texts aside, it is especially important to note the propagation of the Sor Juana myth through the Internet using stories very similar to those written by Mora, Thompson, Martinez, and Perez, only capitalizing on the manner in which students glean information in the twenty-first century. The Munal website entitled "Sor Juana para ninos" (Sor Juana for Children) is an electronic book illustrated in much the same fashion as the books in hard copy with baroque music playing in the background. The text is very brief and consists of a more compact version of Sor Juana's anecdotes: her love of reading, her adventure to school at age three and the fact that she cut her own hair. At the end of each "page" of text (the online book is structured so that the child can flip from page to page after reading the text and examining the illustration), the last line is brought to the foreground with ornate italics, written in red print, and enlarged, giving more importance to certain fundamental terms in Sor Juana's biography, including "tres anos" ("three years"), the young and remarkable age at which Juana Ines learned to read, "la Virreina de Mexico" ("the Vicereine of Mexico"), the first important political connection Sor Juana made, "ideas brillantes" ("brilliant ideas") that emphasizes Sor Juana's sheer brilliance, and "mujeres poetas" ("women poets"), (55) that combines terms that in Sor Juana's day would have seemed perhaps a bit oxymoronic. Also interesting in the textual highlighting is the emphasis placed on Sor Juana's name, first as "Juana Ines de Asbaje," and then later as "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz." The author appears to place great significance on Juana's transformation from precocious child, aided by her grandfather and his literary resources, to Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, famous literary name supported by powerful viceroys and vicereines. Sor Juana's name change in this sense is symbolic, suggesting a sort of rebirth or metamorphosis through education.
The section of the online book that emphasizes Sor Juana's brilliant ideas begins as such: "Pese a sus intentos, Sor Juana debio renunciar a su amor por el arte. En su epoca no eran aceptadas las mujeres de ideas brillantes" (In spite of her attempts, Sor Juana had to renounce to her love for art. In her time, women of brilliant ideas were not accepted).56 The use of a passive and impersonal construction to describe Sor Juana's position among male intellectuals suggests a removal of blame on the part of the author, or at the very least a desire to evade mentioning male domination as the primary reason for which these brilliant ideas were not accepted. Sor Juana's writings are depicted in the illustration as a locked book like a diary, forbidden and mysterious like their rejection that the author implies. However the inclusion of the first stanza of "Hombres necios" at the online book's conclusion attempts to make more obvious the role men played in the suppression of female intellectual pursuits. The final words in the online book remind us that those words are a subtle and poetic cry to female readers to embrace scholarship as Sor Juana did in spite of the confines of the patriarchy.
The other website, Mexico para ninos: "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz," is equally concise and gives a short account of the same anecdotes with illustrations but lacks the animation and music of the previous website. (57) This site is government-sponsored, suggesting the role the state plays developing pedagogy and educating its children, which grants the website special significance as a Sor Juana work endorsed by a power-exerting institution that sees the need to include such a strong female model in its pedagogical approach.
Read more like an encyclopedia article than the previously mentioned storybooks, "Mexico para ninos" places emphasis on Juana Ines' rebelliousness as a child, a theme that hopes to resonate with young readers. The article starts by mentioning Juana Ines' astounding ability to read at age three, noting that "le mintio a la maestra diciendole que su madre ordenaba que tambien a ella le diese la leccion" (She lied to the teacher telling her that her mother ordered that she give the lesson to [Juana] as well). (58) This lie is nearly glorified in the context of Juana Ines' remarkable literary accomplishments, much as the "castigos" (punishments) that she received from her grandfather for spending hours absorbed in his library seem uncalled for and demanding of pity. The text continues to elaborate on Juana Ines' precociousness, emphasizing that it took her only twenty lessons to learn Latin, and that she was only thirteen years old at the time of the supposed noteworthy examination by forty university scholars. In addition, the author pays particular attention to Juana Ines' decision to enter the convent, suggesting that it was through this decision alone that her true conversion from precocious child to literary icon could take place. Most interesting, however, is that this brief text is the only resource for children that I encountered that mentions Sor Juana's proficiency in nahuatl and her ability to communicate with Mexico's indigenous population, emphasizing even further the true scope of Sor Juana's learning and the potential of her rhetoric to reach not only the scholarly minds of people of Spanish descent, but also to serve as a bridge between two coexisting cultures.
To better comprehend the potential of the myth of the fiery, rebellious, and most of all curious Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz to impact the cultural consciousness of future generations, people educated in the United States need only to think of the many tales they were taught in childhood designed to inspire them. The quirkiness of Sor Juana's anecdotes resonates with children in the twenty-first century in much the same way that George Washington and the cherry tree, Benjamin Franklin and the key and the kite, the Wright Brothers' first flights in Kitty Hawk, and Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on the bus represent cultural ideals that children in the United States recite with pride. The young woman who defied her mother, cut her own hair, and refrained from eating cheese to further her quest for knowledge leaves an indelible impression on young minds and serves as a model and an inspiration to marginalized female students. Assisting parents, educators, and governments as they strive to eradicate gender differences in contemporary education, Sor Juana's life and works presented in contemporary juvenile literature help to build a female cultural identity in a traditionally patriotic world.
Abizadeh, Arash. "Historical Truth, National Myths and Liberal Democracy: On the Coherence Of Liberal Nationalism." Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (2004): 291-313.
Althusser, Louis. "Ideological State Apparatuses." Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. London: New Left Books, 1971.
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1983.
Arenal, Electa and Amanda Powell, trans. The Answer/La respuesta. By Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. New York: The Feminist Press, 1994.
Arnot, Madeleine. Reproducing Gender?: Essays on Educational Theory and Feminist Politics. New York: Routledge/Falmer, 2002.
Beauvoir, Simone de. "The Second Sex." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: Norton, 2001. 1403-14.
Bell, Duncan S.A. "Mythscapes: Memory, Mythology and National Identity." The British Journal of Sociology 54 (2003): 63-81.
Bosma, Bette. Fairy Tales, Fables, Legends and Myths: Using Folk Literature in Your Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press, 1987.
Butler, Judith. "Gender Trouble." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York: Norton, 2001. 2485-2501.
Calleja, Diego. "Aprobacion." Fama, y obras posthumas del fenix de Mexico, dezima musa, poetisa americana, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, en el convento de San Jeronimo de la imperial Ciudad de Mexico. Madrid, 1714.
Elizondo Alcaraz, Carlos, ed. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Mexico: Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura.
Estrada, Francisco Javier. Pedagogia y filosofia: Las pasiones de Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Mexico: Praxis, 2000.
Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage, 1977.
Gordon, Mary. Introduction. A Room of One's Own. By Virginia Woolf. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1981.
Gutierrez, Berta and Marina Subirats. Mujer y educacion: El sexismo en la ensenanza. Madrid: U.A. Barcelona, 1985.
Juana Ines de la Cruz, Sor. Obras completas. Mexico: Porrua, 2002.
Luciani, Frederick. Literary Self-Fashioning in Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2004.
Martinez, Elizabeth Coonrod. Sor Juana: A Trailblazing Thinker. Brookfield: Millbrook, 1994.
Mexico para ninos. "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz." <http://www.elbalero.gob.mx/historia/html/colonia/home.html>.
Mora, Pat. A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
Munal: Museo Nacional del Arte. "Recursos Pedagogicos: Sor Juana para ninos, La Historia de Juana de Asbaje." <http://www.munal.com.mx/esp/educacion/sorjuana.html>.
Myers, Kathleen Ann. Neither Saints Nor Sinners: Writing the Lives of Women in Spanish America. New York: Oxford UP, 2003.
Paz, Octavio. Sor Juana or, the Traps of Faith. Trans. Margaret Sayers Peden. Cambridge: Belknap, 1988.
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-- . Based on a True Story: Latin American History at the Movies. Ed. Donald F. Stevens.
--. Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 1997.
Thompson, Kathleen. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Milwaukee: Raintree, 1990.
Kathleen Bartels, Kathleen Bartels, Ph. D. Candidate, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, The Catholic University of America.
** This paper began as a research paper in the graduate seminar "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz: Her Baroque World and Modern Representations" taught by Dr. Mario Ortiz at the Catholic University of America.
(1) Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Obras completas. (Mexico: Porrua, 2002) 842. Trans. Electa Arenal and Amanda Powell, The Answer/La respuesta. (New York: The Feminist Press, 1994) 85.
(2) Duncan S.A. Bell, "Mythscapes: Memory, Mythology and National Identity." The British Journal of Sociology 54 (2003) 63.
(3) Francisco Javier Estrada, Pedagogia y filosofia: Las pasiones de Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. (Mexico: Praxis, 2000) 8.
(4) Estrada 87.
(5) Estrada 90.
(6) Simone de Beauvoir, "The Second Sex." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. (New York: Norton, 2001) 1407.
(7) Judith Butler, "Gender Trouble." The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Ed. Vincent B. Leitch. (New York: Norton, 2001) 2489.
(8) Berta Gutierrez and Marina Subirats, Mujer y educacion: El sexismo en la ensenanza. (Madrid: U.A. Barcelona, 1985) 5, my emphasis.
(9) Madeleine Arnot, Reproducing Gender?: Essays on Educational Theory and Feminist Politics. (New York: Routledge/Falmer, 2002) 149.
(10) Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. (New York: Vintage, 1977) 228.
(11) Louis Althusser, "Ideological State Apparatuses." Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. (London: New Left Books, 1971) 127.
(12) Bell 73.
(13) Bell 75.
(14) Arash Abizadeh, "Historical Truth, National Myths and Liberal Democracy: On the Coherence Of Liberal Nationalism." Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (2004) 297.
(15) Frederick Luciani, Literary Self-Fashioning in Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. (Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2004) 87.
(16) Luciani 89.
(17) Luciani 90.
(18) Luciani 96.
(19) Luciani 96.
(20) Kathleen Ann Myers, Neither Saints Nor Sinners: Writing the Lives of Women in Spanish America. (New York: Oxford UP, 2003) 3.
(21) Octavio Paz, Sor Juana or, the Traps of Faith. Trans. Margaret Sayers Peden. (Cambridge: Belknap, 1988) 64.
(22) Diego Calleja, "Aprobacion." Fama, y obras posthumas del fenix de Mexico. Madrid, 1714. n.p.
(23) Susan E. Ramirez. "I, the Worst of All: The Literary Life of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz." Based on a True Story: Latin American History at the Movies. Ed. Donald F. Stevens. (Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 1997) 50.
(24) Sor Juana, Obras completas 291. Trans. Margaret Sayers Peden, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Poems. (New York: Bilingual, 1985) 85.
(25) Paz 434.
(26) Pat Mora, A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002) 1.
(27) Mora 5.
(28) Mora 11.
(29) Mora 15.
(30) Mora 16.
(31) Mora 23.
(32) Mora 27.
(33) Mora 29.
(34) Kathleen Thompson, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. (Milwaukee: Raintree, 1990) 1.
(35) Thompson 6.
(36) Thompson 9.
(37) Thompson 17.
(38) Thompson 22.
(39) Thompson 24.
(40) Thompson 28.
(41) Elizabeth Coonrod Martinez, Sor Juana: A Trailblazing Thinker. (Brookfield: Millbrook, 1994) 5.
(42) Martinez 5.
(43) Martinez 9.
(44) Martinez 10.
(45) Martinez 13.
(46) Martinez 15.
(47) Martinez 20.
(48) Martinez 23.
(49) Martinez 27.
(50) Amada Irma Perez, My Very Own Room. (San Francisco: Children's Book, 2000) 4.
(51) Perez 8.
(52) Perez 24-5.
(53) Mary Gordon, Introduction. A Room of One's Own. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1981.
(54) Perez 29.
(55) Munal: Museo Nacional del Arte. "Recursos Pedagogicos: Sor Juana para ninos, La Historia de Juana de Asbaje." <http://www.munal.com.mx/esp/educacion/sorjuana.html>.
(56) Munal: Museo Nacional del Arte.
(57) Mexico para ninos, "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz." <http://www.elbalero.gob.mx/historia/html/colonia/html>.
(58) Mexico para ninos, "Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz."
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|Date:||Oct 1, 2008|
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