Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Geografía En Los Relatos De Viajes Castellanos del Ocaso De la Edad Media: Análisis del Discurso Y Léxico

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Geografía En Los Relatos De Viajes Castellanos del Ocaso De la Edad Media: Análisis del Discurso Y Léxico

Article excerpt

Victoria Béguelin-Argimón, La geografía en los relatos de viajes castellanos del ocaso de la Edad Media: Análisis del discurso y léxico, Hispánica Helvetica 22 (Lausanne: Sociedad Suiza de Estudios Hispánicos, 2011). 877 pp. ISBN 978-84-7956090-4. euro55.00.

The purpose of this study, as declared in its first pages (pp. i6fi), is to study five late medieval Hispanic travel narratives with a three-pronged approach: to study the role played by geography in these narratives, to examine the discursive techniques with which this geographical information is conveyed, and to evaluate the geographical vocabulary used in these texts. A description and justification of the textual corpus analysed in this study appears on pp. 19-26. It includes González de Clavijo's Embajada a Tamorlán, Gutierre de Games's El Victorial, Pero Tafur's Andanzas e viajes, the Libro del infante don Pedro de Portugal, and Fadrique Enriquez de Ribera's Viaje a Jerusalén. Victoria Béguelin-Argimón puts a special emphasis on the justification of the presence in it of El Victorial., more often considered to be a courdy chronicle, or an autobiographical text, rather than a travel narrative (pp. 25f.). Her reasons are persuasive. The first of the three parts of the book (pp. 65-278) deals with the role played by geographical descriptions in these travel narratives. Their authors paid more attention to human geography than to physical geography, but Béguelin-Argimón states that in spite of this the presence and role of the latter has been overlooked by previous critics. She provides a detailed typology of the passages in which these texts (especially Tamorlán and Viaje a Jerusalén) depict elements of the geographic background through which their authors travelled (including cities and, perhaps rather questionably, for coherence's sake, animals, trees, and plants). The interesting conclusions to this section of the study (pp. 270-8) show, perhaps not surprisingly, that the text written by travellers on a diplomatic vision, Tamorlán, is the more detailed in this regard, and that all texts studied share the organic vision of a world which is the work of God rather than the post-classical vision, based on individual perceptions and estimations (p. …

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