Curial and Guelfa
A classic of the Crown of Aragon
Translated into English by Max W. Wheeler
Among 15th-century literature in the Romance languages, Curial and Guelfa is one of the most successful romances of chivalry. It is a veritable jewel of late medieval European literature and of narrative in the Crown of Aragon in particular. Curial shares a range of features — realism, humanity, believable deeds of chivalry, historical background, allusions to everyday life, elements of humour and parody, variation between literary and popular language — with contemporary French chivalric narratives, and with the Valencian Joanot Martorell’s Tirant lo Blanc. In this company, however, Curial stands out for the predominance in it of the sentimental component, for a significant incidence of learned elements from Greek and Latin classical culture and from the early fathers of the Christian church, and for its striking stylistic elegance. These learned elements are an indication of fresh humanistic breezes blowing from Italy. In this way the novel unites several cultural currents that converge in western Romance narrative at the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance.
This translation into English, by Max W. Wheeler, is based upon the 2008 edition by Antoni Ferrando.
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