This essay provides an intertextual reading of "The Love of Sahar and Kima," the ninth mahberet (narrative) of Ya'akov ben El'azar's Sefer ha-meshalim. This tale highlights the contrast between physical and spiritual love, feudal and religious constraints, and "courtly" ideas and a parody of those ideas. It expands upon the current knowledge of the thematic, structural, and ideological parallels between ben El'azar's work and the literature of medieval France, and presents a number of prominent and specific examples that indicate the influence of the Matière de Bretagne on this mahberet. Simultaneously, the essay identifies ben El'azar as an original European writer who made use of existing literary models, but who was independent in his muse and inspiration. It shows that there are vestiges of the fairy tale in Sefer ha-meshalim, and that this mahberet can be read as a rationalized fairy tale like those in French literature.


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pp. 24-37
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