Abstract

Abstract:

For a community of comparatists, this article examines the idea that the first story of Jacob Ben Elʿazar's thirteenth-century Sefer ha-meshalim (The Book of Stories) is Romance literature in Hebrew language with an Arabic twist. First, Ben Elʿazar writes in Hebrew, the language that was beginning to replace Arabic in Jewish secular works written in thirteenth-century Christian Spain. Second, he demonstrates a profound knowledge of Hebrew and Romance allegories as a medium for exploring Neoplatonic discourse. Third, he achieves this blend via his adaptation of the prestigious and highly admired Arabic genre of the maqāma. After providing necessary background on the intellectual and literary climates of Ben El'azar's Toledo, we offer the first English translation of this story.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 279-304
Launched on MUSE
2017-09-14
Open Access
No
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