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Re: Tirant as an example of Chivalry
Having taught on 'Tirant' and other literature from the period let me give
you a hint. Chivalry in period is something between equals of social
standing and/or ability. If you read a particularly brutal encounter you
will often find it is in terms of punishing a transgressor who is unworthy of
better treatment. Unrepentent heathens are fair game as are dishonorable
knights or pretenders to the knightly class.
Tirant is an excellent book, although very long for the casual reader and in
need of a 'good parts' version. However, it was written very late in the
chivalric era and is contemporary with the far more famous 'Don Quixote.' It
possesses strong elements of satire and world-weary sophistication. It is
not a how-to manual for chivalry. If you want that, go back to one of the
books Martorell heavily plagarized, Ramon Lull's 'Book of the Order of
Chivalry' or find a translation of the anonymous poem 'Saladin' wherein the
Christian Sir Hue instructs Saladin in the meaning of knighthood. Those were
the instruction manuals of the period, not Tirant.
Deirdre O'Siodhachain, OL
P.S. I am very glad to know this book is in print again since my paperback
copy disappeared in my travels to University.
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