Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Story Fo a Story across Cultures: The Case of the 'Doncella Teodor'

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Story Fo a Story across Cultures: The Case of the 'Doncella Teodor'

Article excerpt

Margaret R. Parker, The Story of a Story across Cultures: The Case of the `Doncella Teodor', Coleccion Tamesis A 161 (London: Tamesis, 1996; distributed by Boydell & Brewer). x + 153 pp. ISBN 1-85566-038-5. L29.50.

The story of the slave girl Tawaddud, who confounds a hostile panel of wise men with her wise and witty answers, passed from ninth-century Egypt to Puccini's Turandot (1924). Part I of Margaret R. Parker's study is concerned with the Hispanic reception of the story. What distinguishes the Hispanic tradition is its stamina: two Arabic versions are preserved in one Spanish manuscript each; there is a relatively homogeneous Spanish version which circulated in manuscript (with five witnesses) and three printed redactions published from c. 1500 to 1950. From the Spanish print derive a Portuguese version of 1712, a Mayan text and a Brazilian Portuguese versification of the mid-nineteenth century. In the third printed Spanish version (first edition 1540) the wisdom questions are contaminated with those of Epitus and the Emperor Hadrian.

In Part III Parker prints three original texts and translates them for the first time into English: the Spanish manuscript version, the Spanish print of 1540, and the Brazilian. …

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