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The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History: A Forgotten Heritage (The Middle Ages Series) Paperback – February 1, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0812213249 ISBN-10: 0812213246 Edition: New Ed

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Product Details

  • Series: The Middle Ages Series
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press; New Ed edition (February 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812213246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812213249
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Solidly researched and splendidly written."—Comparative Literature



"Beautifully written. . . . A fascinating introduction to an area of medieval literacy still replete with nationalistic tensions."—Speculum



"Calls for a wider acceptance of the idea that medieval Western culture was influenced more widely by Arabic thought."—Choice



"Admirable for breadth of reading and attractive for its uncramped sympathies. . . . A sobering reminder . . . of the presence of much racism and chauvinism in literary and cultural history."—Relgion and Literature

About the Author

Marandiacute;a Rosa Menocal is Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University, where she is Director of the Whitney Humanities Center. She is author of The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain and Shards of Love: Exile and the Origins of the Lyric.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Menocal's now classic (and still controversial) book is well worth the trouble of finding a copy (I waited 6 weeks for mine). She uncovers a hidden thread of influence on Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch (and thus our Western Heritage) that most scholars would have preferred lay forgotten.

Yes, Virginia, there really wasn't a "Renaissance." Instead, European authors tapped into the great watershed of Islamic culture and borrowed the best of it, recasting it for a Christian audience.

Michael Kucher

University of Washington, Tacoma
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam A. Mawn-Mahlau on March 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Meaningful silences punctuate our lives. How silent is a first kiss, yet how potentially significant?

In this history of literary histories, Menocal delves deeply into a hush that fell on certain theses -- certain most undesireable theses -- as the 19th century dawned. She deftly traces an intellectual theory of the birth of the poetry of courtly love from Dante's level Latin language defense of the vernacular through Schlegal's mind-numbing dismissal through those enormous silences of the 19th and 20th centuries and on to the more riotous days of her student youth.

The theory -- that most undesirable, unimaginable theory -- would potentially root the emergence of European vernacular poetry of the troubadours not in a moment of proto-French genius summoning rhymes of courtly love from the mists but in a moment of Andalusian (and distinctly Mozarabic) brilliance that recreates and recasts the worlds and sounds before it.

Wisely, in this magical tale of literary and linguistic adventures, Menocal does not begin with the theory itself, which has been researched, argued, buttressed, and reinforced from Medieval times to the present, in many languages and many times. Instead, she launches into the poetry of the many cultures of the time, both Romance and Arabic, and then moves on to the history of the silence. We hear Dante struggling in Latin with thoughts on the vernacular and the sources of his inspiration; we hear Arabic and Mozarabic speaking women finding new masters among the Christians as the Reconquista commences, we hear forms emerge from the classical Arabic and in the Mozarabic and Provencal and Sicilian vernaculars, and then, we hear silence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Saba T. Ebrahim on June 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like what a great resource this is for teaching about Andalucia and Menocal does a great job of bringing it to life with imagery.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Menocal looks into the influence of Arab literature on Spain's jarcha poems, commments on the introduction of rhyme, which is an Arab development in poetry, into European poetry through the poems of al-Andalus; she suggests that Arab works of literature are behind Dante's 'Divine Commedy'
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