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Review Article REVISITING THE BALADRO DEL SABIO MERLÍN: PERSPECTIVES INTRODUCED BY EDITORS OF THE RECENT FACSIMILE EDITION Elizabeth M. Willingham Baylor University The impetus of this review article is Creación y difusión de"El Baladro del sabio Merlin" (Burgos 1498), a diminutive, co-aufhored volume containing a single extended essay on El Baladro.? The essay suggests a historical and political context for the Balaam's creation "la primera versión de nuestro Baladro" and printing, "su posterior fortuna estética en el paso del manuscrito al impreso" outside the explicit internal evidence of the text and printing (35-36).- The Cátedra-Rodríguez Velasco essay distills certain political, historical, bibliographical, literary , and critical perspectives on the Baladro, questioning previous opinion and suggesting new conclusions. The text appeared in essentially the same form -"con leves diferencias" (9)- in the companion volume to the facsimile edition of the Baladro (Gijón, 1999). Cátedra and 1 Cátedra, Pedro M. andJesús D. Rodríguez Velasco. Creación y difusión de"El Baladro del sabio Merlin" (Burgos 1498). Estudios y ensayos, serie chica 3. SaLamanca: Seminario de estudios medievales y renacentistas [SEMYR], 2000. 99 pp. ISBN 84-920305-4-2. - In this article, the full title or shortened form Baladro will signify the 1498 edition. The 1 535 Baladro, a part ofthe Demanda del Sancto Grial, whose Spanish title was assigned by its editor Bonilla y San Marlin, will be be referred to by that title. The Cátedra-Rodríguez Velasco essay that comprises the book under review will be referred to here as "the essay". Entwistle ( 1 46 n.) cites another edition, Merlin y demanda de Sancto Grial (Seville, 1500) [sic]. For Bogdanow's discussion ofthe possibility ofa missing French "contes del brait", see her 1962 article dismissing the notion. La corónica 32.2 (Spring, 2004): 191-213 192Elizabeth M. WillinghamLa corónica 32.2, 2004 Rodríguez Velasco present new materials and fresh points of departure for studies in a variety of related disciplines. The present review article will first describe the incunabulum that is the subject of the edition and the essay; next, it will review die essay in a way diat details its wide-ranging nature; and, finally, it will examine several ofits principal issues, providing critical and historical perspectives on the material . The 1498 Baladro del sabio Merlin came from the press ofJuan de Burgos on 10 February 1498 in Burgos, according to data given in the colophon. Juan de Burgos, who practiced his craft in Burgos and Valladolid in the late fifteendi and early sixteendi centuries (d. 1502), is credited widi several well-known examples ofprinting and is Uiought to have been well-connected in the printing community.3 The surviving unique incunabulum of the 1498 Baladro, "[una o]bra de extraordinaria rareza, de la que solo se conserva este ejemplar" (R.R.A.), has been housed since die 1930s in die Biblioteca Universitaria de Chiedo.4 Among its odier influences, which include die Merlin prophecies of Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Spanish Baladro is considered to be derived from the Old French Suite du Merlin (Continuation ofMerini ), which is the third part of die Old French Post-Vulgate, and the first section in which the narrative departs from its model, the Old French Vulgate.3 Cátedra García and Rodríguez Velasco's essay provides a useful and intriguing introduction to the Baladro under the broad dieme of "creación y difusión", presented in diree chapters: "1. Merlin y familia "; "2. El baladro del sabio Merlin con sus profecías: composición de un avatar"; and "3. Ficción caballeresca en el paso del manuscrito al impreso: la recepción de El baladro del sabio Merlin" . The audiors include a brief foreword and an index. Readers will find certain assertions recurring through the course of the essay: the Baladro's relationship to Peninsular, French, and English Arthuriana makes it universally significant to Arfhurian studies; certain elements, designated "noxiehcos", enrich the Baladro's narration and political resonance 5 His pages are reproduced in Haebler and elsewhere. 4 See Pilar Ribiera's interview with the director ofthe Biblioteca de...


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