One of the great ironic moral comedies of the late Middle Ages, Libro de Buen Amor holds a place in Spanish literature comparable with that of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the English tradition. This edition presents, on facing pages, the Salamanca Old Spanish text dated and the first English-language verse translation since The fictional autobiography of the One of the great ironic moral comedies of the late Middle Ages, Libro de Buen Amor holds a place in Spanish literature comparable with that of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the English tradition.
The fictional autobiography of the picaro Archpriest of Hita, Juan Ruiz, is a treasury of fables and fabliaux, mock heroic allegory, joyous parodies of churchly and legal ritual--all digressions to the hilarious tale of the persistent but abortive adventures of the author as lover. The Archpriest himself consistently maintains that his "models for sinning" will be read virtuously by the virtuous though salaciously by the wicked--in this moral ambiguity resembling Boccaccio of the Decameron and Chaucer of the bawdier tales.
Although the Salamanca text is used, as the most complete extant version of Ruiz's work, gaps are filled from the Gayoso manuscript, and variant readings are given from this and the Toledo fragment. Textual spellings are changed to conform with modern Spanish usage, but without sacrificing the phonological characteristics of Old Spanish. The translation which starts from a draft by the late Hubert Creekmore attempts to approximate the techniques of the medieval poet.
Within the demanding limits of a verse form faithful to the original, the translation uses devices of medieval rhetoric, particularly wordplay. A Reader's Guide follows the text and translation, as a means of avoiding the distraction of line-by-line annotation, and an annotated bibliography leads to major critical themes and controversies still surrounding Ruiz. The introduction describes the poet's virtuoso display of poetic forms, which relate this intensely Spanish work to the literature of medieval Europe, and appraises the poet's consciousness as one relevant to modern social tensions.
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Sort order. Jun 26, Araceli. A curious combination of bawdy tales, animal fables, lovely religious poetry, moral admonitions, and social commentary. Overall, amusing but not fabulous. The running gag is the author's attempt to convince an acceptable woman to become his paramour. It may be instructive that the author, purporting to be an archpriest, is repeatedly frustrated in his efforts to acquire this item, although many chapters define the attributes of a fine woman, tongue in cheek for the most part, I think.
He is A curious combination of bawdy tales, animal fables, lovely religious poetry, moral admonitions, and social commentary. He is 'assisted' by an old woman go-between who is portrayed as very persuasive and quite willing to trick a woman into his hands; in a diatribe against death he mourns her passing while ignoring how ineffective she was. And at the very end, after several quite beautiful religious poems, there is a burlesque of the local priests outraged by a papal 'edict' sent via the bishop that they must give up their mistresses.
However, perhaps making the bawdy parts acceptable to the authorities, Ruiz spends almost as much time enumerating the seven deadly sins and how to combat them. Several of the animal fables fall flat. Not sure if it is the translation or whether there was more context for the fables in the 14th century so they made more sense. Di Cesare. It is an odd assortment of fables, ribald tales, prayers, and autobiographical vignettes, which Ruiz, the Archpriest of Hita, collected and revised while in prison for religious reasons -- a common occurance among Spanish writers from the 14th through the 17th centuries!
Kane was able to sustain a regular meter and rhyme scheme throughout the entire translation, which took him almost a lifetime to achieve, according to the introduction. The whole thing was so impressive that it almost felt like overload.
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I had to pace myself and take only a few pages at a time per day. Very often, the most vulgar passages are followed by solemn prayers to the Virgin Mary, almost as if Ruiz were trying to make up for the naughtiness. At the end of it all, he tell us that this work is intended to be a guide to the pathway of the holy for those who might be led astray by vice. The reader chuckles as Ruiz rationalizes his whimsical verses. Despite the fun, it was at times a wearying read, simply for the acrobatic wordplay that Kane makes as he translates the verses to end in rhymes -- a testament to both Kane and the flexibility of the English language, which is surely harder to rhyme than Spanish.
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