Academic journal article Medium Aevum

A Companion to Cervantes's 'Novelas Ejemplares'

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

A Companion to Cervantes's 'Novelas Ejemplares'

Article excerpt

A Companion to Cervantes's 'Novelas ejemplares' , ed. Stephen Boyd, Colección Tamesis, Serie A: Monografías, 218 (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2005). viii +325 pp. ISBN 1-85566-118-7. £50.00/$85.00.

In the preface to this volume, its editor, Stephen Boyd, points out that its purpose is 'to provide students and non-specialist readers with a general overview of the Novelas ejemplares . . . and to complement this by offering detailed analyses of individual stories, or of particular aspects of them, by specialists whose work represents something of the variety of critical approaches to be found in contemporary Cer vantine scholarship' (p. vii). The fourteen essays that follow fulfil this purpose by offering detailed critical readings of all twelve novels and the prologue. Only three texts, El amante liberal, Las dos doncellas, and La señora Cornelia, ate not afforded a specific chapter in their own right. The novels, read in this way, are not dealt with slavishly but as aspects of a complex anthology that lends itself to contrast and comparison. The process begins with Boyd's reading of 'Cervantes's Exemplary Prologue', which he relates to the author's 'enigmatic, uneven, contradictory, self-portrayal' (p. 67). This provides a theoretical framework for the readings that follow, which are arranged according to their logical place in the collection. The first and most deceptively complex, La gitanilla, is covered by William Clamurro, who focuses on the enchantment and irony of the process of reading. …

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