Cervantes and the Turks: Historical Reality Versus Literary Fiction in La Gran Sultana and El Amante Liberal

Cervantes and the Turks: Historical Reality Versus Literary Fiction in La Gran Sultana and El Amante Liberal

Cervantes and the Turks: Historical Reality Versus Literary Fiction in La Gran Sultana and El Amante Liberal

Cervantes and the Turks: Historical Reality Versus Literary Fiction in La Gran Sultana and El Amante Liberal

Excerpt

LITERARY INTEREST IN EXOTIC lands, and, in particular, in the Islamic world, can be traced in all western literatures. We are faced here not with a single type of tradition, but rather with several strands of diverse origin, often intricately intertwined. In view of the seven centuries' Islamic presence in Spanish history, and Spain's subsequent contacts with North Africa and the Mediterranean world, the importance of the theme of the Islamic Orient in Spanish literature is even more pronounced. Like any other literary theme, its significance and function varies in the diverse genres and according to the changing times. It can have links with reality, or, at least, reflect the reality of current ideological attitudes, but it can also derive from literary traditions unrelated to the here and now. Even in the latter case, however, as a pure literary motif, its purpose and function within a particular work of art can be accounted for from within the socio-cultural context of a certain age, and, on the other hand, in the case of events purportedly presented as real, their contamination by literary conventions and their modification by artistic intentions has to be taken for granted. Even in periods when adherence to literary and other conventions place limits on individualistic experiments, an author's vision of the world and his personal experiences would naturally have a bearing on how he approaches his topic.

Spain's Golden Age offers abundant material for the study of the literary treatment of Islam. It is present in all genres and in particular in the theatre. Present-day students of Golden Age theatre may not always be aware of the full extent of the prevalence of the theme, since the criteria for the selection of plays for the purpose of inclusion in modern anthologies tend to be based on artistic merit (as seen from to-day's point of view) rather than their topical relevance for the contemporaries for whom they were intended. This . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.