Medieval Spanish Epic: Mythic Roots and Ritual Language

Overview

This book takes a new look at the place occupied by medieval Spanish epic within European folk and literary tradition. Thomas Montgomery traces the origins of key parts of most known medieval Spanish epics to an ancient myth. He shows how the myth of the initiation of the young warrior, shown by Georges Dum?zil to be fundamental to the belief systems of widely distributed Indo-European peoples, was variously adapted to shape the action of texts including the Siete Infantes de Lara, the Mocedades de Rodrigo, and ...

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Overview

This book takes a new look at the place occupied by medieval Spanish epic within European folk and literary tradition. Thomas Montgomery traces the origins of key parts of most known medieval Spanish epics to an ancient myth. He shows how the myth of the initiation of the young warrior, shown by Georges Dumézil to be fundamental to the belief systems of widely distributed Indo-European peoples, was variously adapted to shape the action of texts including the Siete Infantes de Lara, the Mocedades de Rodrigo, and the Poema de Mio Cid, in which it accounts for the peculiar behavior of the Infantes de Carrión. Montgomery also connects the same mythic tradition to works as diverse as Tristan and the Chanson de Roland.

In a preliterate society, the oral presentation of this archetypal lore required a special language capable of re-creating the ritualized behavior of the epic characters and maintaining the ceremonial tone of the performance. Focusing on the Poema de Mio Cid, Montgomery examines the ways in which the poetic language worked to evoke a feeling of group unity that absorbed the audience and still works its spell upon today's readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Approaching such works as the , the , and the from two perspectives, Montgomery (Spanish, Tulane U.) first traces their central elements to European myth, then analyzes the special poetic language that was used in their recitation. Quotations in the first part are translated in footnotes; those in the second part are not. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271028248
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 5/27/2008
  • Series: Studies in Romance Literatures
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
I Myth
Preliminaries 3
Orientation 9
Cuchulainn and Tristan 11
Cuchulainn, Tristan, and the Seven Infantes de Lara 15
At the Margins: Nibelungenlied and Horatius 25
Las Mocedades de Rodrigo 29
El Poema del Cid 41
Mainet 55
Other Manifestations 60
La Chanson de Roland 65
Listing of Narrative Elements 81
Recapitulation: The Road to Corpes 82
II Poetics
El Poema del Cid: Looking Inward and Outward 91
Introducing Direct Discourse 93
Places 96
Hortatory and Other Directive Modes 97
Ceremonial Tableaux 112
Nonparticipants 124
Ritual as Opposed to Drama; Abstraction 128
Formalized Language: Assonance and Personal Names 131
Formalized Language: Metonymy and Parataxis 134
Formalized Language: Use of Tenses 139
Metonymy, the Linguistic Artifact, Consensus, Sense of Place 141
The Language of Tradition 149
Old Spanish Epic as a Corpus 151
Frontiers 158
Works Cited 165
Index 173
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