Desire and Death in the Spanish Sentimental Romance (1440-1550)

By Patricia E. Grieve | Go to book overview

3 Innovation Within Tradition: The Interplay of Love and Justice in Juan de Flores'
Grisel y Mirabella

OF THE SENTIMENTAL ROMANCES most frequently mentioned as monuments of the genre--Siervo libre de amor, Arnalte y Lucenda, Cárcel de Amor, Grimalte y Gradissa, and Grisel y Mirabella, the last one has sparked fewer analyses than the other four. This is hardly surprising since no less a critic than Menéndez y Pelayo dismissed Grisel with this curt evaluation: "Tal es la curiosa, aunque absurda, novela de Flores, cuyo éxito en el siglo XVI fue tan grande como es inexplicable hoy, considerando su flojo y desmalazado estilo."1

Grisel y Mirabella was, however, enormously popular. In 1925, Everett Ward Olmsted examined the European derivatives, tracing them back to the Italian version of the story: Lelio Aletiphilo translation and modification of Grisel, Historia de Isabella et Aurelio, which served as a model for the anonymous English Swetnam, the Woman- Hater, the anonymous English A Paire of Turtle Doves, Scudéry Le Prince déguisé, and Lope de Vega La ley ejecutada.2

____________________
1
Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo, Orígenes de la novela, II ( Madrid: CSIC, 1943), p. 63.

-55-

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