Teresa: escritora ma non troppo
The saintliness of Santa Teresa has been often imposed on the writer, that is, her holiness has hindered her consideration as an author, although some 20th century scholars worked to recover Teresa for literature through study of the literary qualities of her works. Santa Teresa’s ‘literary vocation’ and ‘literary art’, her condition of writer despite herself, and her constant declarations of humility and modesty are recurrent themes in the essays published by Ramón Menéndez Pidal, Víctor García de la Concha, Francisco Márquez Villanueva, Carmen Martín Gaite, etc. These themes are also a constant reason for reflection by different sectors of feminist criticism, as shown by Rosa Rossi, Alison Weber, Paul Julian Smith, Catherine Swietlicki and Anne J. Cruz. Santa Teresa’s Libro de la Vida launched a new genre in Spanish literature written by women: the autobiography by order of the confessor. Contemporary criticism has devoted many efforts to analyze this new genre, as evidenced by the essays of Arenal, Schlau, Donahue and Herpoel. The main objective of this paper is to review the different readings that Santa Teresa’s works received in the twentieth century, with special attention to the debate between the saint and the writer.