Insular Fictions from Chivalric Romance to the Novel
Publication Year: 2011
Pinet looks closely at Amadís de Gaula and the Liber insularum archipelagi as the first examples of these genres. Both isolario and chivalric romance (libros de caballerías) make of the island a flexible yet cohesive framework that becomes intrinsic to the construction of their respective genres. The popularity of these forms throughout the seventeenth century in turn bears witness to the numerous possibilities the archipelagic structure offered, ultimately taken up by the grand genres of each discipline—the atlas and the novel.
Moving from verbal descriptions to engravings and tapestry weavings, and from the chivalric politics and ethics proposed in the Amadís de Gaula to the Insula Barataria episode in Don Quixote, Pinet’s analysis of insularity and the use of the island structure reveals diverging roles for fiction, illuminating both the emergence of the novel and contemporary philosophical discussion on fiction.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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In the process of writing this book I have benefited from institutions whose fac-ulty and resources have made my work a challenge and a pleasure. This projecthas its roots in a seminar with Francisco Márquez-Villanueva at Harvard Uni-versity. At home south of the border, as I wrote a seminar paper on Amadísover the summer, I wrote him a postcard mimicking chivalric prose, and he was...
INTRODUCTION: Spatial Concepts, Medieval Context
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From Antiquity onward, there exists an inaugural relation betweengeography and history. Confirmed by the modern era’s most famous ofcartographers, Abraham Ortelius, or the travel writer Samuel Purchas, whoboth made of geography the eye of history, however, this well-loved sister-hood often obscures that other intimate relative of geography, literature.Narrative, especially, was for the ancient geographer both a source and a...
1 FOREST TO ISLAND: Sites of Adventure from Arthur to Amadís
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Medieval romance stems out from the articulation of two traditions,that of chanson de geste and that of historiography, the latter not at allnew, as its origins are much more ancient and scholarly, but which gainedrenewed importance due to the series of developments that characterize theconfluence of phenomena we have come to know as the Renaissance ofthe twelfth century.1 The coexistence of epic and romance established a dif-...
2 ISLANDS AND MAPS: A Very Short History
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Spaces are constantly in the process of production. They are thus charac-terized by change, substitution, and replacement. However, as Lefebvrereminds us, spaces never disappear: they leave traces behind. A space likethe forest is crisscrossed by traces, from the paths that are trod upon in orderto traverse it, whether trails through pastures, footpaths, or merchant routes,which link up glades, springs, and inns; islands are loaded with mythology,...
3 ADVENTURE AND ARCHIPELAGO: Amadís de Gaula and the Insular Turn
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For the contemporary reader, Amadís’s positioning between Arthurianromance and Cervantes’s Don Quixote is between a rock and a hardplace. The unquestionable allure of the first and the celebrated status ofthe second have contributed to Amadís’s fading from the memory of readers,who for the most part will have never heard of it. To the late medieval andearly modern audience, however, Amadís was very much a household name....
4 SHORES OF FICTION: The Insular Image in Amadís and Cervantes
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Buondelmonti’s account of his travels in the Aegean can be seen as thefirst of a genre, since explored in many different ways and cultivatedwell into the twentieth century. It confirms a model of modern travel writinginaugurated by Petrarch that is related to “the emergence of a subject thatwrites and records and memorializes the self,” in Cachey’s words, summariz-ing in a way the West’s response to the Aegean, constituting one of the first...
CONCLUSION: Archipelagic Possibilities
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Throughout this book I have been presenting different discourses thatin the late Middle Ages and the early modern world led up to an inti-mate relation among insularity, fiction, and event: from voyages to maps toliterature, from romance to book of chivalry to novel. The cultural atmo-sphere that in the late medieval period looks to insularity as a new way ofinterrogating the real with tools that draw from the encyclopedic and the...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2011