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Doctor Illuminatus: A Ramon Llull Reader Paperback – February 18, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0691000916 ISBN-10: 0691000913 Edition: With a New translation of "The Book of the Lover and the Beloved" by Eve Bonner

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Doctor Illuminatus: A Ramon Llull Reader + Ramon Llull: A Contemporary Life (Textos B) + Ramon Llull and the Secret of Life: An Introduction to the Philosophy of the Human Person
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; With a New translation of "The Book of the Lover and the Beloved" by Eve Bonner edition (February 18, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691000913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691000916
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A new collection of writings extracted from the two-volume compilation of the Catalan philosopher, mystic, and martyr, who lived from 1232 to 1316."--Parabola

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Catalan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Ogara on February 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
For all practical purposes, this book is the primary introduction to Ramon Llull available in English. Llull is a difficult figure to come to terms with, for various reasons, and I must admit that I left this book feeling a bit more confused than I was when I started.
There are two components of this book: Llull's writings themselves (not by any means all of them, which would require much more space, and Professor Bonner has already released a two-volume anthology in addition to this book) and Professor Bonner's commentary. From the very start, it's difficult for us to even begin to conceive of Llull's place in his own world. Llull was born in Mallorca, which had only been reconquered from the Muslims a few years before his birth, thus raising the prospect that he experienced some cultural crosscurrents in his youth. He spent his earlier years as a courtier, and more specifically as a troubador, which also could raise suspicions about his background. After a conversion experience, Llull became a tertiary Franciscan, a designation defining a semi-monastic state not necessarily in permanent orders; presumably, he was considered too old to enter regular orders (he was past thirty). He spoke Arabic fluently, and a great deal of his work is in Arabic.
Professor Bonner defines him primarily as having one major goal in his life: conversion of the Moors, and defines him as a "polemicist", in the terms of the day. On reading his works, one feels that the polemic is missing, and in fact he apparently has so much sympathy for Islam that it looks as if he may have been a crypto-Muslim himself.
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I acquired a used softcover copy from Goodwill via amazon. First, Ramon Llull is one of the most-studied of Mediterranean medieval mystics, and despite the passage of many centuries, he remains as controversial today as in his age. He was alternately accused of heresy by the Inquisition, and proposed for canonisation by the Roman Catholic Church. Second, by his own account, he had an illumination experience in which he was inspired with a philosophical Art or Work, which formed the foundation for a structure of logic to elucidate Christic theology, which he hoped to use to convert the "Sarracens", for which purpose he learned and wrote in Arabic, and travelled widely. From the perspective of this writer, other theological writers bog down in his significance within Christianity, as he apparently failed in his life work to convert any Muslims to Christianity ... what is most intriguing is that in his attempts to understand Moslems, especially the mystics among them, Llull ended up not unlike them. No where is this more apparent than in an extended love poem, in this edition in a fresh readable, accurate translation, of an extended Sufi poem actually placed in the mouth of a fictional hermit Blaquernas. who admits at least admiration for Sufi mystical poetics: it could be a re-writing of the Sawanih of Ahmad al-Ghazali or the Maqamat al-Qulub of an-Nuri. As such, Llull is a precursor to later Catholic mystics like Teresa of Avila and Juan de la Cruz who also drew from Islamic mystical literature for their work. This volume is an abridgement of a two-volume publication by the same author, and although I have not compared the two editions to see what was set aside, this book seems to contain everything an interested reader could hope for, and makes for a very satisfying account of Llull's life, teachings, and influences. I would recommend it just for the new translation of The Book Of The Lover And The Beloved. - Daniel O'Donnell, Portland Oregon USA
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Duane on January 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wonderful collection of five of Llull's most important work. Bonner's translations are concise and fluid, very helpful. His introductory remarks to each book fill in historical and biographical information, so you end up with a bio of Llull in addition to his actual writings. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to read Llull in English for the first time.
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