Framing Iberia: The Medieval Iberian frametale tradition

2003 2003

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Abstract (summary)

While a number of texts written in a variety of languages in medieval Iberia have been described as frametales, such as Don Juan Manuel's El Conde Lucanor (Castilian, 1335), to this date there has been no academic study of the medieval Iberian frame tale as a unified tradition comprised of texts written in Arabic, Hebrew, and Castilian. Typically, frametale texts written by medieval Iberian authors are studied as examples of Arabic (the maqamāt of al-Saraqustī), Hebrew (the Tahkemonī of al-Harīzī) or Castilian (the Conde Lucanor of Don Juan Manuel) literature. Here I reframe the study of frametales written by medieval Iberians to constitute a single, unified tradition. I argue that the Conde Lucanor and Libro de buen amor did not spring from a Latin hothouse, but rather represent a medieval Iberian culture and literary tradition that cannot be contained by the canon of any single literary language. They are cases of Castilian language production in a system that produced texts in several languages, both Semitic and Romance.

In chapter 1, “Performance in the Frame,” I discuss the literary representation of storytelling events or performances by Muslim and Jewish authors as shaped by their individual interpretations of Jewish and Muslim traditions. In chapter 2, “Translating the Frame,” I discuss the importance of the translation of Calila e Dimna from Arabic into Castilian, arguing that despite its origins in the Arabic, Muslim literary system of al-Andalus, there are no significant barriers to Calila 's reception by a Castilian, Christian audience. In chapter 3, “The Reconquest of the Frame,” I consider how the Conde Lucanor, the first frametale composed in Castilian, reflects Don Juan Manuel's complex relationship with Andalusī tradition, and how it is an example of the many-faceted mudejarismo of 13th and 14 th century Castile-León. Chapter 4, “Convivencia in the Frame,” places the Libro de buen amor within the tradition of the Hispano-Hebraic maqāmāt. I argue that Juan Ruiz was familiar with the Sefer Ša'āšū'īm of Ibn Zabara.

Indexing (details)

Middle Ages;
Romance literature;
Middle Eastern history
0297: Literature
0297: Middle Ages
0313: Romance literature
0333: Middle Eastern history
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Frametale; Iberia; Juan Manuel, Infante of Castile; Juan Ruiz; Medieval; Ruiz, Juan; Spain
Framing Iberia: The Medieval Iberian frametale tradition
Wacks, David Asa
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 65/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780496919307, 049691930X
Faulhaber, Charles B.
University of California, Berkeley
University location
United States -- California
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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