BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY IMPRECISION of the general conception of the romances of chivalry, it is necessary to define clearly the subject matter of this book. If we were discussing Golden Age epic poetry, no one would expect to find in it a treatment of the Cid, or the romancero, or of Ariosto, except perhaps as works indirectly asssociated with the genre, as antecedents, or as illustrations of the same forms or principles in the literatures of other countries. Similarly, if we were discussing the Spanish pastoral novel, one would not include Virgil, Theocritus, or Sannazaro, except in a discussion of predecessors.
Yet such confusion is precisely what we find among those who write on the Spanish romances of chivalry. From the beginnings of critical study of the genre to the present, following, perhaps, the well-known process by which works were attributed to famous authors ( Ovid, King Solomon), the true romances of chivalry have seen themselves classified helter-skelter with foreign works of the most diverse languages and time periods and with original Spanish works which can scarcely be considered romances of chivalry. In part this is due to a confusion between chivalric material and romances of chivalry: ballads, for example, may deal with deeds of knights, such as Bernardo del Carpio, or even with the heroes of the romances of chivalry, such as Amadís de Gaula and the Caballero del Febo,1 but this does not mean that they themselves are____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Romances of Chivalry in the Spanish Golden Age. Contributors: Daniel Eisenberg - Author. Publisher: Juan De La Cuesta. Place of publication: Newark, DE. Publication year: 1982. Page number: 1.
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