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"Saracens" in John Gower and Juan de Cuenca: rewriting difference
Año del Documento
ES: Revista de filología inglesa, 2012, N.33, pags.171-189
In each instance that John Gower uses the term "Saracen" in his Confessio Amantis to characterize the enemies of Christendom, Juan de Cuenca' s prose Castilian translation, the Confisyon del Amante, employs alternative language -language that predominantly downplays rather than exacerbates scenes of religious conflict. This essay analyzes these divergent representations of difference to argue that such comparative analysis of English and Spanish texts makes legible each writer's differing investments in narratives of Christianity's violence and pacifism, its anxieties about its religious neighbors and its belief in its own triumphant ascendancy. Understanding the interpretive nuances of these differences between Gower and Cuenca carries implications for our understanding of the political, historical, and literary transactions between England and Castile and Leon in the late middle ages.
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