Hunger's Brides
Page Updated On: 01/04/2006

Locutorio - the parlour


About the locutories

In the 17th century, the locutory was the news centre, the place where the community came for news of this world and the next. Sor Juana's locutory seems to have been very much like the 18th-century French salon, a place where the literary and intellectual questions of the day were aired. And as highly prized as her writing was, visitors to her locutory considered her wit and conversation an incomparable treasure.

On this page

This seemed a good place to pull together links to anything concerning the kinds of interaction we hope to build here over time, as the book reaches readerships in the U.K., U.S., and Germany.

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7-Parlour Locutories

More on the locutories of 17th-century Mexico:

"...From their respective journeys across seventeenth-century America, an Englishman, Gage, and an Italian, Carreri, bring us snapshots (the latter’s at least untainted by Gage's Protestant bias) of Mexico City's convents. Gage writes:

It is ordinary for the Friars to visit their devoted nuns, and to spend whole days with them, hearing their music, feeding on their sweet-meats. And for this purpose they have many chambers which they call Loquitorios, to talk in, with wooden bars between the nuns and them, and in these chambers are tables for the Fryers to dine at; and while they dine the nuns recreate them with their voices.[i]

      Reliable witnesses confirm that the nuns received their visitors without veils, in open defiance, as it were, of the prohibitions of numerous bishops. Not even the chastening rule of separation by a grille could be strictly enforced...."

From a chapter by Dr. Donald Gregory, Hunger's Brides

[i] The quote from Thomas Gage appears in Octavio Paz, Sor Juana, or, The Traps of Faith, p.122.

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