Tales of the White Knight: Tirant Lo Blanc by Professor Joanot Martorell, Marti Johan D'Galba (Paperback / softback, 2013)
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- DescriptionFirst published in 1490, Tirant lo Blanc has been called the best book in the world by less than Miguel de Cervantes, author of the immortal Don Quixote de la Mancha. And in our own time, Mario Vargas Llosa has said the following: Tirant lo Blanc is a vel that urishes that all-encompassing yearning of the great vels of all times which, like the Quixote, War and Peace, La Comedie Humaine, Moby Dick, the saga of Faulkner, seem to want to emulate the Supreme Being in the creation of a world as diverse, complex and self-sufficient as the real world, of a fiction that competes with life in its ever-increasing diversification. A spicy, brutally realistic vel of knights and ladies of medieval times, this book was written in Catalan, translated into Spanish in 1511 in an abridged form, into Italian in the 16th century, into French in the 17th century, and did t make an appearance in English until late in the 20th century. It has since then been made into a movie directed by Vicente Aranda, alternately entitled The Maidens' Conspiracy. Among the reasons that the world outside of Spain has been somewhat late in responding to the value of this vel may be that it was originally written in Catalan, whose literature is t widely read in the original tongue. But ather reason may be its overemphasis on rhetorical elements. As one scholar says, if the velist had cut many of these elements, his book would in that case have been reduced to approximately one-fourth of its present size, but quite probably it would w be considered a masterpiece of narration and dialogue. Such has been the aim of this translation: The story line has been slightly abridged, but the most dramatic change is that most of the rhetoric has been eliminated, leaving in the major plot line, with its brutal tournament jousts, bloody battles between the Christian forces and their enemies, its treachery, slapstick humor, ribald bedroom scenes and tender moments of love. As Cervantes puts it in the Quixote, 'Heaven help me!' shouted the curate. 'Here is Tirant lo Blanc! Hand it to me, my friend. I tell you that in it I have found a treasure of contentment and a mine of entertainment. Here is Kyrieleison of Montalban, a valiant knight, and his brother, Tomas of Montalban, and the knight Fonseca, and the battle that the valiant Tirant waged with the greyhound, and the witticisms of the maiden Plaerdemavida, along with the amours and deceit of the Widow Repose, and the Empress in love with the squire Hippolytus.' Having read this vel, who could forget the characters that Martorell has brought to life? Who would t feel grief at the death of Tirant and the princess, less united in soul than Calisto and Melibea in Spain (making their appearance a few short years later in Fernando de Rojas' masterpiece, La Celestina), than Romeo and Juliet in England, and less tragic? And in remembering Tirant, who would t smile at the thought of him serving as a go-between for Prince Philippe and the infanta, Ricomana? Could anyone be more delightful than the forthright Plaerdemavida (whose name translates literally as Pleasure-of-My-Life ) - surely one of the best delineated characters in any literature? Or anyone more villaius than the odious Widow Repose - a figure stamped indelibly on our minds, wearing her ridiculous red stockings and hat in the bath? If Don Quixote's Dulcinea did t exist until she took form in his (or in Cervantes') mind, or the windmill that was a giant, or the Cave of Montesis, they have w come into existence in the mind of every reader of that vel. So may Tirant and his men, the princess, the emperor, Plaerdemavida, also come to life alongside the gentle and t so gentle folk of Cervantes, in every reader's imagination. Let us leave the reader with these final words from the pen of Cervantes about Tirant lo Blanc: Take him home and read him, and you will see that what I have said of him is true.
- Author BiographyRobert S. Rudder holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Minnesota. He has taught at that university and at several universities in California, including UCLA, California State University, Los Angeles, and Whittier College. He is the author and translator of more than a dozen books. Among these are The Paradox of Santa Teresa de Jesus; The Literature of Spain in English Translation; and translations of the writings of Benito Perez Galdos, Cristina Peri Rossi, Rosario Castellanos, and Francisco Rojas Gonzalez.
- Author(s)Marti Johan D'Galba,Professor Joanot Martorell
- Date of Publication20/08/2013
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectCrime, Thriller & Adventure
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight549 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine21 mm
- Translated byRobert S Rudder
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
- Edition Statementabridged edition
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