A Celebration of and Posthumous Works by the Phoenix of Mexico and Tenth Muse, the Mexican Poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

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Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651–95) is considered among the greatest writers of Mexico, a central figure of 17th-century Latin American literature, and an early feminist who championed the right of women to acquire knowledge. She was born on the hacienda of Nepantla to parents who were not married and placed in the custody of her maternal grandfather. In 1667, she joined the Order of Discalced Carmelites in Mexico City, where she was free to pursue her intellectual and literary interests. She owned a library of some 4,000 books, and became deeply learned in literature, philosophy, theology, astronomy, music, and painting. She wrote plays, essays, and Christmas carols, but is best known for her lyrical poetry. The high regard in which Sor Juana was held is reflected in the eulogies to her by more than 60 poets of Spain and New Spain. These tributes were collected by Juan Ignacio de Castorena y Ursúa and published five years after her death in Fama y obras posthumas del Fénix de México dezima musa, poetisa americana, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (A celebration of and posthumous works by the Phoenix of Mexico and Tenth Muse, the Mexican poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz). Castorena, the rector of the University of Mexico and bishop of the Yucatan, was a fervent defender of Sor Juana. He also included in this volume several previously unpublished documents, notably the Protesta de la fe (Protestation of faith) and the now-famous Respuesta a Sor Filotea de la Cruz (Reply to Sister Filotea de la Cruz). Modern-day Mexican scholar Fredo Arias de la Canal opined that Sor Juana’s importance in the literary world was as great as that of the kings of Spain in the world of politics, hence the epithets in the title of this work.

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Printed by Antonio González Reyes at the expense of Francisco Laso, Madrid, Spain

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Fama y obras posthumas del Fénix de México dezima musa, poetisa americana, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

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Last updated: June 26, 2012