Cultures of the Fragment: Uses of the Iberian Manuscript, 1100-1600
The majority of medieval and sixteenth-century Iberian manuscripts, whether in Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, or Aljamiado (Spanish written in Arabic script), contain fragments or are fragments. The term fragment is used to describe not only isolated bits of manuscript material with a damaged appearance, but also any piece of a larger text that was intended to be a fragment. Investigating the vital role these fragments played in medieval and early modern Iberian manuscript culture, Heather Bamford’s Cultures of the Fragment is focused on fragments from five major Iberian literary traditions, including Hispano-Arabic and Hispano-Hebrew poetry, Latin and Castilian epics, chivalric romances, and the literature of early modern crypto-Muslims.
The author argues that while some manuscript fragments came about by accident, many were actually created on purpose and used in a number of ways, from binding materials, to anthology excerpts, and some fragments were even incorporated into sacred objects as messages of good luck. Examining four main motifs of fragmentation, including intention, physical appearance, metonymy, and performance, this work reveals the centrality of the fragment to manuscript studies, highlighting the significance of the fragment to Iberia’s multicultural and multilingual manuscript culture.
- Series: Toronto Iberic
- World Rights
- Page Count: 272 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.2in x 9.2in
"This is an original approach to a wide variety of texts produced in medieval and early modern Iberia that opens up interesting questions and lines of investigation, with a number of sparkling insights left for further exploration."
Simone Pinet, Cornell University
"Cultures of the Fragment is an ambitious study that covers a lot of territory chronologically, from Isidore of Seville to modern museum exhibits and from eleventh-century Hispano-Jewish lyric to the sociocultural realities of seventeenth-century Moriscos. The subject matter is a fascinating and productive category of analysis for the medieval Iberian literary and cultural tradition. With insightful close readings, Heather Bamford offers a theoretical way of framing that transcends a chronological or linguistic-based study."
Michelle Hamilton, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Minnesota
"Insightful and engaging, Cultures of the Fragment allows for a much wider and more complex understanding of medieval and early modern Spanish literature, reflecting as it does a fragmented cultural heritage, a metonym of sorts of the society that produced these texts."
Matthew Bailey, Department of Romance Languages, Washington and Lee University
Author InformationHeather Bamford is an assistant professor of Spanish at George Washington University.
Table of contents
List of Figures
1 Fragment and Fragmentary in the Iberian Epic
2 From Bound to Metonym: Early Modern and Modern Disuse of Chivalric Fragments
3 Used to Pieces: The Muwashshahas and Their Romance Kharjas from Al-Andalus to Cairo
4 Faith in Fragments
5 The Fragment among the Moriscos: Mohanmad de Vera’s Culture of Compilation
1 Breviario Sunni , chapter 22; De Vera, chapter 9
2 Breviario Sunni , chapter 14; De Vera, chapter 9
3 Breviario Sunni , chapter 12; De Vera, chapter 10
4 Breviario Sunni , chapter 11; De Vera, chapter 10
5 BNM 4871; De Vera, chapter 44
6 De Vera, chapter 18; BNM 4871
7 End of De Vera’s Treatise
Prizes2020 La corónica International Book Award - Winner in 2020
Subjects and Courses