SPN 387 • Spanish Medieval Literature to 1369
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
This is a general course designed to provide an introduction to the classic texts of Spanish medieval literature to 1369. This course does not approach the texts solely as part of a larger literary history, but also considers each work as representative of a long-standing literary tradition that contributed to its formulation. The texts are not viewed in isolation, as the genius of a particular author or product of a specific moment in history, but rather within the context of other related 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 some 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 Berceo's Milagros (its Latin sources, ecclesiastical reforms, monastic traditions), the works written and sponsored by Alfonso X (lyric poetry, the royal scriptorium and its cultural program), the Conde Lucanor (previous wisdom literature in Latin and Castilian, social milieu of don Juan Manuel), Libro de buen amor (Latin precursors, Goliardic currents), Proverbios morales (Jewish and Christian religious polemics).
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. Occasional essays will be assigned to monitor the assimilation of course readings (40%). Students will be asked to give one oral presentation on literary criticism (book or series of essays) related to the class readings (10%), to compile an annotated bibliography of works related to the term paper topic (20%), and to write a term paper (30%).
Cantar de mio Cid Gonzalo de Berceo, Milagros de Nuestra Señora Alfonso X, Antología (poesía, prosa histórica, textos legales y científicos) Juan Manuel, Conde Lucanor Juan Ruiz, Libro de buen amor Sem Tov de Carrión, Proverbios morales Moaxajas árabes y hebreas (traducidas al castellano) y sus jarchas mozárabes, poesía cortesana, poesía lírica del siglo XV.