A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain

By Teofilo F. Ruiz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
From Carnival to Corpus Christi

IN Juan Ruiz’s canonical text, the Libro de Buen Amor (Book of Good Love, composed around 1337), the author includes a delightful aside, telling of the iconic battle between Lord Carnality (Don Carnal) and Lady Lent (Doña Cuaresma) held on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, that is on Mardi Gras. In the text, we come face to face with the easy flow between the world of the everyday, of food and pleasure, the world of matter, and the highly somber and austere period that precedes the commemoration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. A focus of the story is Lady Lent’s tenuous hold on mankind, as seen in her eventual defeated by carnal love on Easter Sunday and Monday. What is also obvious in the Libro de Buen Amor is Carnality’s sway throughout the year, and the proclivity of the flesh to eat, drink, and celebrate. Don Carnal, richly installed on a stage (not unlike the raised stages from which kings and queens gazed down on parades during their royal entries), enjoys a whole assortment of delightful foods, while jongleurs play and sing for his pleasure. Wine of course flows, placing the whole company in sweet slumber. But Lady Lent’s armies, a whole assortment of sardines, eels, and other seafood associated with Lent, soundly defeat Don Carnal’s troops. For forty days, Lent’s forces rule the world as the dissipation of Carnival and Mardi Gras are left behind. But on Easter Sunday, Lent is overthrown. Carnality and Love once again recover their rightful thrones. That Juan Ruiz chose the high point of Carnival as the setting for what was, essentially, a romp across the full range of fourteenth-century Castilian cuisine, ranging from the delectable foods consumed throughout the year to Lent’s austere fare, tells us a great deal about the prominent place of carnival celebrations in the Western tradition, particularly in Iberia.1

As Julio Caro Baroja has shown and the Libro de Buen Amor demonstrates, Carnival time was extended throughout the year by means of a cycle of popular and secular festivities often juxtaposed with sacred time. Although Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, was seen as the culmination of the Carnival season (Carnestolendas in the Castilian language)—as is the case today in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and other locations known for

1 Arcipreste de Hita, Libro de buen amor, María Brey Mariño, ed., 2nd ed. (Madrid: Editorial Castalia, 1960), 199–230, lines 1076–1317. This battle is a well known trope in Western art. One of the most vivid representations is Peter Brueghel’s wonderful painting, “The Fight between Carnival and Lent.”

-246-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 356

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.