Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

First I would like to thank the Department of Romance Languages and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon for their ongoing support over the past ten years and, in particular, the efficient, hardworking, and ever-professional departmental...

Note on Translation

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p. xiii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-7

Jews in Christian Iberia in the medieval and early modern periods considered themselves to be living in diaspora, descendants of those Hebrews who were exiled from Judea and Samaria, first by the Babylonians and subsequently by the Romans...

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1. Diaspora Studies for Sephardic Culture

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pp. 8-33

Diaspora is a Greek word that describes the broad scattering of a people as if they were seeds scattered across several furrows in a field. In its original usage it described the colonization of people dispersing from metropolis to colonies in order to reproduce imperial authority...

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2. Allegory and Romance in Diaspora: Jacob ben Elazar’s Book of Tales

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pp. 34-63

Thirteenth-century Sephardic author Jacob ben Elazar lived and worked in Toledo, a city so often described as multicultural or diverse that it has become a bit of a cliché. Ross Brann, for example, writes of a “singularly Iberian cultural pluralism...

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3. Poetry in Diaspora: From al-Andalus to Provence and Back to Castile

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pp. 64-96

The poetry of Todros Abulafia, who wrote at the court of Alfonso X of Castile-León (1252–1284) is the product of two diasporas, one human and one poetic. As a diasporic poet, Abulafia is very much in the tradition of Jacob ben Elazar and other Sephardic poets...

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4. The Anxiety of Vernacularization: Shem Tov ben Isaac ibn Ardutiel de Carrión’s Proverbios morales and Debate between the Pen and the Scissors

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pp. 97-126

Diasporic communities construct their identity in different ways, and language choice plays a large role in determining the boundaries among, as well as the relationships with, the hostland, the homeland, and the diverse communities of the larger diaspora.1 We have seen how Sephardic...

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5. Diaspora as Tragicomedy: Vidal Benvenist’s Efer and Dina

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pp. 127-150

By the turn of the fifteenth century, the anxieties expressed by Shem Tov Ardutiel over assimilation and pressures to convert to Catholicism had been realized dramatically. The violent pogroms of 1391 affected nearly every Jewish community in the Iberian Peninsula...

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6. Empire and Diaspora: Solomon ibn Verga’s Shevet Yehudah and Joseph Karo’s Magid Meisharim

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pp. 151-181

Diaspora is not a uniform experience, and each author’s work refracts the experience of Sephardic diaspora in very different ways. Both Solomon ibn Verga and Joseph Karo were born in Spain and left in 1492 while still quite young. For both of them, the experience...

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7. Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Spanish Fiction in the Key of Diaspora

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pp. 182-205

Sephardic authors in the generation following the expulsion gave voice to a new layer of diasporic consciousness, of being in diaspora from Spain. Ibn Verga’s work couches this consciousness in a Sephardic humanist voice, building on and reacting to the humanist...

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Conclusion

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pp. 206-208

In this book I have attempted to demonstrate how Sephardic authors gave voice to a doubly diasporic consciousness in secular literary texts. As I have mentioned, this study is not intended to be an exhaustive literary history of Sephardic culture from the thirteenth...

Notes

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pp. 209-254

Bibliography

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pp. 255-286

Index

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pp. 287-299