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The Spanish medieval short chivalric romance and the “rey Canamor”: A study of the “Libro del rey Canamor y del infante turián su hijo y de las grandes aventuras que ovieron ansi en la mar como en la tierra,” Valencia 1527
The Libro del rey Canamor is one of a small group of chivalric narratives that reached popularity levels in sixteenth-century Europe similar to the “best-seller” of today. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries these works were often overlooked or easily dismissed by scholars and many have been forgotten by the modern press. My proposal is to present the Libro del rey Canamor to the scholarly public for closer examination, easier access and renewed interest. This study presents a review of the essential distinctions often made between various types of chivalric narratives, leading to a brief discussion of their history in Hispanic literature, as well as their classification and acceptance through the years. It also examines the history of the shorter narratives and their relation to sixteenth-century printing and the creation of an editorial genre. The analysis of the Libro del rey Canamor examines its editorial history and narrative structure. Although some of its contemporaries were published for a longer period of time, this text was not able to extend its publishing life into the seventeenth century. Nevertheless, there were at least ten different editions in its heyday. The Libro del rey Canamor consists of two independent nuclei which create a hybrid text, the first part of which comes from a medieval source, while the second brings to light the aforementioned editorial genre. It is likely that the second part was written specifically for publication in early sixteenth-century Valencia. The analysis of content focuses on the major protagonists, folk motifs and their roles and functions in the more developed episodes. Finally we examine the presence of humor found in each section, concentrating on battle bravado, love intrigues, and jests. The review of the history of the chivalric narratives, both editorial and social, as well as the analysis of the internal elements of the Libro del rey Canamor in particular, show that this brief narrative is a hybrid text: a combination of a medieval narrative, albeit heavily edited, and a newly written second generation, melded together to create one of the best-sellers of sixteenth-century Spain.
Literature|Middle Ages|Romance literature
Fuller Hess, Janine, "The Spanish medieval short chivalric romance and the “rey Canamor”: A study of the “Libro del rey Canamor y del infante turián su hijo y de las grandes aventuras que ovieron ansi en la mar como en la tierra,” Valencia 1527" (2002). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3056226.