Academic journal article Medium Aevum

A Companion to the 'Libro De Buen Amor'

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

A Companion to the 'Libro De Buen Amor'

Article excerpt

A Companion to the 'Libro de buen amor', ed. Louise M. Haywood and Louise O. Vasvári, Colección Tamesis, Serie A: Monografías 209 (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2004). xiii + 231 pp. ISBN 1-85566-094-6. £45.00.

Juan Ruiz's Libro de buen amor is the most enigmatic and confusing work to have been composed in Spain during the Middle Ages. This new Companion Guide, carefully compiled and edited by Louise M. Haywood and Louise O. Vasvari, draws on the work of nine leading anglophone Hispanists in an attempt to provide a series of fresh insights into its elusive and perplexing meaning. In their joint introduction ('Reading the LBA thirty years on"), Haywood and Vasvari consider the impact of developments in Juan Ruiz scholarship since the publication of G. B. Gybbon-Monypenny's 'Libro de buen amor' Studies in 1970. By offering a systematic review of the various critical debates that were generated by the eleven articles published in that volume, they succeed in contextualizing their discussion, thereby preparing readers for 'a more theoretically-oriented, re-vision of the state of scholarship' (p. 1). This is a process that begins in the four sections that follow, the first of which contains two essays devoted to the context and background in which the book was produced: Haywood's 'Juan Ruiz and the LBA: contexts and milieu' and Jeremy Lawrence's 'LBA: from script to print'. From this initial foundation the analysis moves on to a consideration of form and traditional wisdom, with Martin J. Duffell ('Metre and rhythm in the LBA') drawing attention to the metrical regularity of the text, and Barry Taylor using 'Exempla and proverbs in the LBA' to lead him to a consideration of Juan Ruiz's mischievous sense of humour. …

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