Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

El peso del humo: una polémica trasatlántica en el Barroco hispano

Fernando R. de la Flor, Germán Labrador Méndez


The objective of this text is to trace the emergence of tobacco in Hispanic Baroque culture by examining the discourses that sought to legally control its appearance, use, and diffusion within the larger context of the commercial exploitation of the American continent. In order no achieve this goal, it will first be necessary to situate this polemic within the larger sphere of practices surrounding the symbolic acclimatization of indigenous realities. Secondly, the distinct textual moments covered by said polemic will be analyzed. An initial period characterized by favorable naturalistic descriptions of the plant was soon replaced by a negative conception from a theological and moral standpoint. Finally, tobacco was integrated into practices of social control that focused on its hygienic uses. As a central component of this polemic, we will study in depth a text by Doctor Cristóbal Hayo, professor of medical surgery at the University of Salamanca during the mid 17th century. This text represents not only the most fervent but also the last defense of theplant during said period.

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