Writing the Self (1562—1565)
DOI link for Writing the Self (1562—1565)
Writing the Self (1562—1565) book
When Teresa begins writing her Vida in 1562 she sets out to defend the divine origin of her prayer by giving testimony of how God's grace had helped her to know herself and to get closer to him by slowly forsaking her worldly desires. This chapter illustrates how she used the example of St Augustine to refer to the influence of books in order to mark, and even explain, the development of her personality, and to analyse the attendant circumstances of her past sins. Spiritual autobiography in the Augustinian tradition posits a crucial disparity between the narrator and the main character which involves something other than the usual time lag of secular autobiography. Teresa thus grew up in a cultural context in which hagiographical accounts competed in popularity with chivalric romances, but were considered to offer ethically superior role models.