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The Abencerraje: A New Translation [Kindle Edition]

Anonymous , Jessica Knauss
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

A Top 20 Amazon Bestseller in Literary Fiction!

This edition includes:
• A never-before-published translation of El Abencerraje
• Useful explanatory notes
• A short, original introductory essay

A heartwarming tale of love and friendship in a time when no one could imagine anything but war.

This is a classic story of the exotic landscape of medieval Spain, written about 1551, in a new, easy to read English translation.

Abindarráez is so in love with beautiful Jarifa that when he is taken prisoner by Rodrigo de Narváez, he asks to be freed for only two days so that he can marry her. What happens next shows that love and friendship are stronger than war, even during the final stages of the the Reconquest of Spain.

The translation tries to transmit all the meaning and charm of the original while untangling its complex syntax. Don't miss the opportunity to read this enchanting book in English!

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Product Details

  • File Size: 360 KB
  • Print Length: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Açedrex Publishing (May 23, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085XOXP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,187 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knauss' Abencerraje a delight June 19, 2012
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Abencerraje was written in Spanish in 1565 about events that may or may not have happened in the 1480s, when, as translator Jessica Knauss puts it in her introduction: "...Ferdinand and Isabella had retaken the most of the towns on the Iberian peninsula [as part of their policy of] making Spain a Christian country.... Needless to say, the Muslims, whose forebears had arrived nearly 800 years previously, did not consider themselves temporary occupants of the lands under dispute."

Abencerraje is the story of the friendship between two men separated by race, religion, culture and politics, but united by their respect for honour, courage, chivalry and love. The one, Rodrigo, was a Christian, Spanish knight; the other, Abinddarráez, was a Spanish Moor and a follower of Islam.

I was transported into a heroic medieval past that may or may not have existed, but surely should have. It is a tale that recalls the stories in the Arthurian cycle in which bold and true knights defending their honour and lady-loves.

I know no Spanish beyond the ability to ask for more beer, but it seems to me that Jessica Knauss has captured the flavour of the language and the time in her translation, without resorting to pseudo-medievalisms -- such as "quoth" , "doth" and "forsooth" -- that mar so many historical novels. She gives us the story, "straight up" in the voice of the anonymous Spanish narrator, with no modern asides or explanations save for a few useful footnotes that do not impede the flow.

A cursory examination on the web reveals that Abencerraje is heavily documented by scholars. Some question its authenticity; most are self-consciously scholarly. However, once it is shorn of obscure academic debate, Abencerraje is a good story that deserves the fresh translation Knauss offers.

Seymour Hamilton
Astreyatrilogy.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story That Dares to Hope July 16, 2012
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"The Abencerraje" is a late medieval story of friendship under the most unlikely circumstances. The two main characters are Christian and Muslim during the Reconquest of Spain. Despite this religious war, both men see each other's virtues and adhere to a chivalric code of honor.

What makes this story even more remarkable is the time it was written, about 1551, during the Spanish Inquisition. During a time of intolerance, the anonymous author dares to hope that friendship and understanding is possible across religious lines. He is centuries before his time.

Translator Jessica Knauss does a great job in making the story accessible to modern readers yet giving it a feel of another time and place. Many thanks to her for bringing it to a modern English-speaking audience.
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