Vol.10, No.1 | [Article]Fiction and Conversion: The Powers of the Word in Amad ís de Gaula, Las sergas de Esplandi á n , and the Autobiograf ía of Saint Ignatius Loyola



While convalescing, Ignatius Loyola entertained himself with thoughts of returning to the profane life of the courtier. Lacking books of chivalry, he had to settle for lives of the saints and a life of Christ. Still floating in his mind, however, were chivalric tales, especially that of Amadís de Gaula. Through the powers of the word, Ignatius became dissatisfied with thoughts of the fictitious deeds of chivalry, and re-emplotted his life, undertaking a quest to perform real deeds of holiness. This mirrors the Amadís cycle in which the “profane” actions of the protagonist move to the sacralized deeds of his son, Esplandián. The emplotment of the Autobiografía closely resembles that of the Amadís cycle, suggesting that in dictating his Autobiografía, either Ignatius or his secretary, Da Camara, had the emplotment of the Amadís cycle clearly in mind -- an emplotment at the service of the Church and the Crown.

Keyword : Ignatius Loyola, Amad ís de Gaula, emplotment, Autobiograf ía, Luis da Camara