Reading Illegitimacy in Early Iberian Literature (The New Middle Ages)

December 3, 2020
Reading Illegitimacy in Early Iberian Literature (The New Middle Ages)

Reading Illegitimacy in Early Iberian Literaturepresents illegitimacy as a fluid, creative, and negotiable conceptin early literature which challenges society’s definition of whatis acceptable. Through the medieval epic poems Cantar de MioCid and Mocedades de Rodrigo, the ballad tradition,Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares,and Lope de Vega’s theatre,Geraldine Hazbun demonstrates that illegitimacy and legitimacy areinterconnected and flexible categories defined in relation tomarriage, sex, bodies, ethnicity, religion, lineage, and legacy.Both categories are subject to the uncertainties and freedoms oflanguage and fiction and frequently constructed around axes ofquantity and completeness. These literary texts, covering a rangeof illegitimate figures, some with an historical basis, demonstratethat truth, propriety, and standards of behaviour are not forged inthe law code or the pulpit but in literature’s fluid system ofproducing meaning.