SPN 387 • CLASSICS OF SPANISH MEDIEVAL LITERATURE
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
This is a general course designed to provide an introduction to some of the classic texts of Spanish medieval literature. This course does not approach the works as part of a larger literary history, instead each work will be considered as representative of a specific literary tradition that has contributed to its creation. None of the texts will be viewed in isolation, as the genius of a particular author or product of a particular moment in history, but rather within the context of other similar works. For example, the Cantar de mio Cid is an epic poem of oral origins, similar to other Castilian epic narratives and yet unique in many ways. Recognition of its oral characteristics and of its relationship to other epic narratives serves as a basis for a better appreciation of the poem as a particular manifestation of a rich narrative tradition. A similar approach will be employed in the study of Berceos Milagros (its Latin sources, ecclesiastical reforms), the works sponsored by Alfonso X (the royal scriptorium and its cultural program), the Conde Lucanor (previous wisdom literature in Latin and Castilian, political ambitions), Libro de buen amor (its Latin sources and Goliardic influences), Proverbios morales (Jewish and Christian religious polemics), Arcipreste de Talavera (the Bible, Patristic authors, Libro de buen amor,etc.).
It is expected that students will achieve an understanding of the course readings and an appreciation for the literary traditions that contribute to the configuration of each work. Students will be asked to give oral presentations on critical essays and/or complementary literary works and follow-up written reports, and to complete a final research paper.
Cantar de mio Cid Gonzalo de Berceo, Milagros de Nuestra Señora Alfonso X. Antología (poetry, historical prose, scientific and legal texts) Juan Manuel, El Conde Lucanor Juan Ruiz, Libro de buen amor Sem Tob ben Yitzhak Ardutiel, Proverbios morales Alfonso Martínez de Toledo, Arcipreste de Talavera