Exotic Nation: Maurophilia and the Construction of Early by Barbara Fuchs

By Barbara Fuchs

Within the Western mind's eye, Spain usually inspires the colourful tradition of al-Andalus, the Iberian sector as soon as governed by way of Muslims. vacationer brochures inviting viewers to sunny and romantic Andalusia, domestic of the inventive gardens and complicated arabesques of Granada's Alhambra Palace, will not be the 1st texts to exchange on Spain's courting to its Moorish previous. regardless of the autumn of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 and the next repression of Islam in Spain, Moorish civilization persisted to steer either the truth and the notion of the Christian kingdom that emerged rather than al-Andalus.

In unique country, Barbara Fuchs explores the paradoxes within the cultural development of Spain relating to its Moorish background via an research of Spanish literature, gown, language, structure, and chivalric practices. among 1492 and the expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslims forcibly switched over to Christianity) in 1609, Spain tried to come back to phrases with its personal Moorishness by way of concurrently repressing Muslim topics and appropriating their wealthy cultural history. Fuchs examines the specific romanticization of the Moors in Spanish literature—often often called "literary maurophilia"—and the advanced, frequently silent presence of Moorish types in Spanish fabric tradition. The huge hybridization of Iberian tradition means that the sympathetic depiction of Moors within the literature of the interval doesn't alternate in exoticism yet as an alternative reminded Spaniards of where of Moors and their descendants inside of Spain. in the meantime, observers from outdoor Spain well-known its cultural debt to al-Andalus, frequently intentionally casting Spain because the unique racial different of Europe.



"Fuchs has drawn from a big selection of assets to supply a wealthy, well-researched, and soaking up ebook that crosses disciplinary limitations. unique country is a main contribution to the sector of early smooth studies."—Sixteenth Century Journal

"Barbara Fuchs supplies us a full of life and illuminating check out the numerous ways that Moorishness remained a bright presence in early glossy Spanish tradition. Theoretically refined, yet rooted within the cautious exam of the texts of quotidian lifestyles, unique state takes the reader past Orientalism right into a profound rethinking of the connection of early smooth Spain to different ecu countries and of the position of Jewish, African, and Moorish parts in Spain's personal self-construction. crucial analyzing for someone attracted to the ways that excluded others can turn into primary to a nation's such a lot profound understandings and representations of itself within the daily domain names of structure, well known literature, gown, and joyful celebration, unique kingdom is a fantastically written and lucidly argued booklet on a subject of significant importance."—Jean E. Howard, Columbia University

"Fuchs admirably achieves her bold twin objective: to explain the paradoxical makes use of of Moorishness within the early glossy development of Spanish nationwide id, either internally, by means of Spaniards themselves, and externally, by way of different Europeans. Her thesis that Spain's Moorishness is either quotidian and unique is kind of impressive. unique country can have a big effect on reports of early sleek Spain."—Barbara Weissberger, writer of Isabel principles: developing Queenship, Wielding Power

About the Author

Barbara Fuchs is Professor of Spanish and English on the college of California, l. a., and the writer of Romance and Passing for Spain: Cervantes and the Fictions of id.

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Sample text

Transportados en verle’’ [‘‘transported by the sight of him’’], the narrator tells us, ‘‘erraron poco de dejarle pasar’’ (136) [‘‘they almost let him pass’’]. As Laura Bass notes, the narrator emphasizes Abindarra´ez’s allure for the Christians. 35 Although Narva´ez will, as Bass argues, eventually be able to restrain his desire and thus mark his difference from the Moor, the scene opens a window onto the complex erotics of maurophilia, in which male Christian desire must constantly negotiate the appeal of a proximate Moor.

Narva´ez befriends them and even intercedes in their favor with the king of Gra- In Memory of Moors 37 nada, leading to a lifelong friendship that persists, the text tells us, ‘‘aunque las leyes sean diferentes’’13 [‘‘though their faiths/laws be different’’]. The intense chivalric and homosocial ties between Christian and Moor adumbrate the novella’s historical context of border conflict. 14 Scholars have identified three main versions of the text, two of which appear in authored works, but have not reached any definite conclusions about its authorship.

The book ends by celebrating the Christian triumph in similarly conclusive—and circular—terms: ‘‘toda Espan ˜ a con esta victoria quedaba por Cristo nuestro Sen ˜or, cuya era antes’’ (240) [‘‘with this victory, all Spain was now for Christ our lord, whose it had been before’’]. Yet Mariana’s conviction that only written history could enduringly tell the story of the fall of Granada and of the Spain that ensued is abundantly challenged by a range of cultural productions over the course of the sixteenth century.

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