Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Mocedades De Rodrigo: Estudio Y Edición De Los Tres Estados del Texto

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Mocedades De Rodrigo: Estudio Y Edición De Los Tres Estados del Texto

Article excerpt

Mocedades de Rodrigo: Estudio y edición de los tres estados del texto, ed. Leonardo Funes with Felipe Tenebaum, Colección Tamesis, Serie B: Textes 45 (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2004). lxxii + 206 pp. ISBN 1-85 566-101-2. £50.00/$85.00. The Mocedades de Rodrigo is one of the most distinctive and fascinating works to have been composed in Spain during the Middle Ages. In manuscript form it can be read only as a rhyming chronicle (the Cronica rimada), and it is on the basis of assonance patterns fossilized within the chronicle that critics from the time of Menéndez Pidal onwards have attempted to reconstruct the content of what is commonly believed to be a late medieval epic poem. In his second major contribution to the subject, Leonardo Funes attempts to extract epic from chronicle, producing a palaeographic transcription of the Crónica rimada on left-hand pages, and an edition of the epic poem (the Refundición de las Mocedades de Rodrigo) on the right. This 117-page edition is followed by a thirty-one-page conjectural reconstruction of the Gesta primitiva, where the process of emendation that can be seen in the Refundición is taken much further, notably in relation to the work of Thomas Montgomery and Samuel G. Armistead. The usefulness of the volume to specialists is obvious: the three stages of the text (as the author himself points out) have not previously been edited collectively; and so, with a process as complicated as the one that he describes, it is clearly advantageous for critics to have access to a single volume, one that makes it easier to see how the Gesta, the Refiindicion, and the Crónica are related.

It is at this point, however, that the problems begin. The Crónica rimada is arranged, we are told, exactly as it is in the manuscript, while the Refundición is set out as poetry on right-hand pages, the lines of which, unfortunately, do not correspond to those of the chronicle. I found attempts to compare readings between the two texts rather taxing; and with the conjectural reconstruction of the Gesta placed frustratingly at the end, it became difficult to see how the objective of the edition (to allow scholars to see the three stages of development) had been fully achieved. …

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