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Reviews381 Paredes, Juan, ed. El cancionero profano de Alfonso X el Sabio. Edición crítica, con introducción, notas y glosario. Románica Vulgaria, Collezione di testi medievali 10. Sezione A/Poesía Urica. L'Aquila: Japadre, 2001. 466 pp. ISBN 88-7006-387-9 Juan Paredes's excellent edition of the secular poetry of Alfonso X is a welcome addition to work on the literary output of the Learned Monarch, as useful for the specialist as it is for the teacher or student of medieval Iberian literature. This book presents Alfonso's 44 cantigas profanas in the original Galician-Portuguese along with translations into Castilian of each poem and a full critical apparatus. Paredes initiates the volume with a "Bibliografía" in which the manuscript sources of the poems are listed followed by the "Obras citadas", in itself a valuable reference tool given its comprehensiveness (it complements the extensive "Reference Bibliography" on the Galician-Portuguese cantigas compiled by Janice Wright in La coránica 26.2 [1998]: 91-129). A multisectioned "Introducción" ensues. It begins with "Alfonso X, poeta profano", a brief statement that recuperates the author of the Cantigas de Santa Maria as a poet of the profane. Paredes notes that Alfonso's secular poetry is comprised of (mostly) cantigas de escarnho e maldizer, cantigas de amor, and one cantiga de amigo (of disputed authorship), and that "para realizar un acercamiento a la figura y la obra de Alfonso X poeta es necesario el estudio comprensivo y unitario de esta doble faceta, religiosa y profana" (43). In "La tradición manuscrita" the manuscript testimonies, transmission of texts, and the main problems associated with the textual criticism of the cantigas are summarized. "Cantigas de amor y de amigo" discusses problems pertaining to the attribution of these love poems to Alfonso's pen along with their manuscript sources. Paredes briefly describes the content of these few cantigas as well. The following section, "Cantigas de escarnio y maldecir", considers primarily codicological and philological issues related to the predominant genre of Alfonso's secular voice. The author summarizes the definitions and distinctions between cantigas de escarnho and cantigas de maldecir elaborated in the fragmentary Poética contained in the Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional and concludes, in accordance with previous scholarship, that these classifications are imprecise and that "el grupo de las cantigas satíricas parece convertirse en una especie de cajón de sastre donde se agrupan todos aquellos textos que no pueden clasificarse en las otras dos categorías" (61). Paredes then moves on to summarize (with examples) the several types of satire (social, political, literary, moral) represented by these cantigas, La corónica 32.1 (Fall, 2003): 381-83 382ReviewsLa coránica 32.1, 2003 noting Alfonso's predilection for "escarnio personal", that is, poems that attack specific individuals known to the monarch. "Los registros léxicos" identifies some of the general semantic fields (e.g., the obscene, food, or clothing) of the satiric poetry and provides representatives examples of the play of equivocatio which is characteristic of the genre. Paredes reiterates arguments in favor of the "obscene" as a valid component ofAlfonso's medieval imagination, since the notion of the obscene has traditionally caused this poetry to be ignored by moralizing critics. On a theoretical level, according to Paredes, the satiric poetry manifests a carnivalesque inversion of values as espoused by Bakhtin and hence lends to readings along these lines. The Bakhtinian carnivalesque, it might be added parenthetically, is not the only approach to yield theoretically provocative interpretations of these cantigas: gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, or the interplay of the sacred and the profane have shaped the work of scholars in recent years and offer a treasure trove of further hermeneutic possibilities. The final two sections of the "Introducción" are short: "Cronología" remarks generally on the difficulty in dating individual poems, although Paredes observes that, clearly, it is easier to date cantigas with political or historical content. "Métrica" provides the metric schemes of Alfonso's secular cantigas in list and table form. The anthology proper is organized in the following manner. The GalicianPortuguese text of each poem is presented first, with line...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 381-383
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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