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Miracles, Duels, and Cide Hamete's Moorish Dissent von Hahn, Juergen (eBook)

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Miracles, Duels, and Cide Hamete's Moorish Dissent

A study of narrative and ideological functions of the Moorish narrator in Don Quijote. It uses narratology and epistemology to argue that Cide Hamete represents key aspects of Arabic learning that are incorporated into Cervantes' work and affect the development of the modern novel. "Estudio breve y muy jugoso ... no puede negarse la sugestió;n y simpatía que despierta este concentrado librito en el ánimo del lector."-Alberto Sánchez, Anales Cervantinos.


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 62
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9780916379964
    Verlag: Digitalia
    Größe: 2945kBytes
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Miracles, Duels, and Cide Hamete's Moorish Dissent

I. Cide Hamete and thé Critics (p. 3)

For a long time it could be comfortably assumed that Cide Hamete`s moorishness was linked to thé Hbros de caballerfas, as part of Cervantes` ex- plicit parody of thé genre. However, Daniel Eisenberg bas shown that this is no longer an entirely valid assumption.

For, while most of thèse romances pretended to be foreign translations, most of them where not "originally" Arabie, but more likely to be Greek, i.e. with Christian or Pagan rather than Moslem authors. Where a Moslem does occur, as in thé Lepo/emo`s chronicler Xarton there is no significant narrative function in his moorishness. More functionally suggestive would be Albucâcim Tarif in Miguel de Luna`s pretended Historia verdadera del rey don Rodrigo, except that this work is not directly regarded as a chivalric romance.

And investigations into Cide Hamete`s name, while highly tantalizing, hâve also been inconclusive as to its narrative fonction. Thus thé question of his moorishness promises to linger, particularly since most récent scholarship has by-passed it.

Most récent critics have increasingly concentrated on thé apparent modernity of thé narrator`s complex présence in thé novel, because it chimes in so perfectly with 20th-century sensibility, in vogue at least since James Joyce. "Moorishness" as a concept thus risks becoming a quaint 17th-century équivalent for such more modem terminology as "narrative control," and "reliability."

Add to thèse thé ideas of "multifaceted irony," "authorial voice," "perspectivism," etc., and a sophisticated narratology émerges, debated with such compétitive acumen as an end in itself, and driven to such heights of subtlety, that one vétéran ceruantista sternly warns of "logic chopping," and bluntly reminds us that Gide Hamete is, after ail, meant to be a "joke."

Such an admonition can serve to clear thé critical air. Admittedly much of Cide Hamete`s présence in thé novel has a humorous ingrédient. But how much of it can justifiably be said to apply to such épisodes as thé cabeza engo cantada, and in particular to thé emphatic référence to thé Inquisition? Even thé most hard-boiled modem reader cannot fail to be more awed than humored by its mention.

And does it suffice to ignore it and simply say that in this épisode Cide Hamete is merely "reestablishing his [narrative] control" after having participated in thé "characters` trickery?"

Hère for once modem critical discourse appears to be too limiting, too culturally detached to do justice to a crucial narrative situation. We need help from an older voice, cioser to Cervantes` era, such as Diego Clemencîn`s (1833), who comments: "Mucho disuena esta noticia [sobre la inquisiciôn] y no menos el modo de contarla, en boca de un mahometano como Cide Hamete." Clemencîn, thé sévère rationalist, sensitive to classical décorum, is discomfited by thé contrast. He does not résolve it, but he does at least acknowledge it. We modem critics will do well to take heed.

2. Moors and Christian Theology

In order to gain a proper perspective of Cide Hamete`s moorishness let us take a cioser look at thé moro mentfroso-label which Cervantes applies to him. It is, in fact, highly complex.

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