The Mester de Clerecía: Intellectuals and Ideologies in Thirteenth-Century Castile

The Mester de Clerecía: Intellectuals and Ideologies in Thirteenth-Century Castile

Julian Weiss

Hardback
$99.00

Tamesis Books

Overview

Overview

A fresh approach to the mester de clerecía, a group of narrative poems (epics, hagiography, romances) composed in thirteenth-century Spain by university-trained clerics for the edification and entertainment of the predominantly illiterate laity.
In the thirteenth century, profound changes in Spanish society drove the invention of fresh poetic forms by the new clerical class. The term mester de clerecía (clerical ministry or service) applies to a group of narrative poems (epics, hagiography, romances) composed by university-trained clerics for the edification and entertainment of the predominantly illiterate laity. These clerics, like Gonzalo de Berceo, understood themselves as cultural intermediaries, transmitting wisdom and values from the past; at the same time, they were deeply involved in some of the most contentious and far-reaching changes in lay piety, and in economic and social structures. The author challenges the predominantly didactic approach to the verse, in an attempt to historicize the category of the intellectual, as someone caught in the duality of the worlds of contingency and absolute values.
The book will have a broad appeal to medievalists, in part because of the topics covered (feudalism, gender, nationhood, and religion), in part because many poems are either adaptations from French and Latin or have counterparts in other literatures (e.g., the romances or Alexander and Apollonius, the miracles of the Virgin Mary).

JULIAN WEISS is Professor of Medieval and Early Modern Spanish at King's College London.

Details

October 2006
268 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855661356
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books
BIC GTB
BISAC LIT004280
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Julian Weiss
Pollution and Perception in Gonzalo de Berceo's Milagros de Nuestra Señora - Julian Weiss
Female Associations: Three Encounters with Holy Women - Julian Weiss
Dreaming of Empire in El libro de Alexandre - Julian Weiss
The Birth of a Nation: Feudal Fictions in El poema de Fernán González - Julian Weiss
The Cleric, In Between - Julian Weiss

Reviews

The most important (book) in the field for a generation (it) lays down a gauntlet to readers, offering not merely a series of readings, but an approach that will almost certainly provide a powerful influence on scholarship in this area for many years to come. MEDIUM AEVUM

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