Tirant lo Blanch

Last updated
Tirant lo Blanch
Tirante el Blanco 1511.jpg
Title page of the first Castilian-language translation of Tirant lo Blanch, printed in Valladolid by Diego de Gumiel
Author Joanot Martorell
Martí Joan de Galba
Original titleTirant lo Blanch
Country Kingdom of Valencia
Language Valencian
Genre Chivalric romance
Set inEurope, North Africa, Middle East, 15th century AD
PublisherMartí Joan de Galba
Publication date
1490
849.9
Original text
Tirant lo Blanch at Catalan Wikisource

Tirant lo Blanch (Valencian pronunciation: [tiˈɾandloˈblaŋ(k)]  ; modern spelling: Tirant lo Blanc [1] ), in English Tirant the White [2] , is a chivalric romance written by the Valencian knight Joanot Martorell, finished posthumously by his friend Martí Joan de Galba and published in the city of Valencia in 1490 as an incunabulum edition. The title means "Tirant the White" and is the name of the romance's main character who saves the Byzantine Empire.

Contents

It is one of the best known medieval works of literature in Valencian. It is considered a masterpiece in the Valencian literature and in the literature in Catalan language as a whole, [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] and it played an important role in the evolution of the Western novel through its influence on the author Miguel de Cervantes. The book has been noted for its use of many Valencian proverbs. [8]

Plot

Tirant lo Blanch tells the story of a knight Tirant from Brittany who has a series of adventures across Europe in his quest. He joins in knightly competitions in England and France until the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire asks him to help in the war against the Ottoman Turks, Islamic invaders threatening Constantinople, the capital and seat of the Empire. Tirant accepts and is made Megaduke of the Byzantine Empire and the captain of an army. He defeats the invaders and saves the Empire from destruction. Afterwards, he fights the Turks in many regions of the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, but he dies just before he can marry the pretty heiress of the Byzantine Empire.

Themes

Compared to books of the same time period, it lacks the bucolic, platonic, and contemplative love commonly portrayed in the chivalric heroes. Instead the main character is full of life and sensuous love, sarcasm, and human feelings. The work is filled with down to earth descriptions of daily life, prosaic and even bitter in nature.[ citation needed ]

Influence

Tirant lo Blanch is one of the most important books written in Valencian. Written by Joanot Martorell in the 15th century, the Tirant is an unusual chivalric novel in its naturalistic and satirical character, which also appears to have a strong autobiographic component. It tells the feats and adventures of Knight Tirant lo Blanc from Brittany. At times, it parallels the life and adventures of Roger de Flor, main leader of the mercenary Company of Almogàvers, which fought in Asia Minor and Greece, both for and against the Emperor of Byzantium. This historical resemblance is evident in the description of events occurring around Constantinople and the defeat of Sultan Mehmed II "the conqueror". While Roger de Flor's almogàvers had the upper hand in the region, the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 was a huge shock to Christian Europe, marking an end to the Byzantine Empire that Martorell's contemporaries wished to change. In writing his novel, Martorell perhaps rewrote history to fit what he wanted it to be - which in a way makes it a precursor of the present-day genre of alternate history.

The Spanish text of Don Quixote states, in Chapter 6 of Part I, that because of certain characteristics of Tirant characters with unlikely or funny names such as Kirieleison de Montalbán, the presence of a merry widow, the fact that in the book knights eat, sleep, and die in their beds having made a will, and the title can be understood as "Tirant the Blank", lacking a major victory to put on his shield the book is quite different from the typical chivalric romance. These aspects make the book exceptional, and made Cervantes state that "por su estilo", which can be translated "because of its style" but more likely means "in its own way", the book is "a treasure of enjoyment and a gold mine of recreation" ("un tesoro de contento y una mina de pasatiempos"), the "best book in the world." It is an (unintentionally) funny book, and Cervantes liked funny books, believed the world needed more of them, and wrote his own in Don Quixote. [9] Cervantes saw this 100-year-old book as the crown jewel of his library. [10]

Translations and adaptations

Translations

The book has been translated into several languages including French, [11] Italian, [12] Spanish, [13] Polish, [14] Russian, [15] Finnish, [16] German, Dutch, Swedish and Chinese. Modern translations of the book into English include Tirant lo Blanc, translated by David H. Rosenthal [4] (1983, 1996), Tirant lo Blanc: The Complete Translation (Catalan Studies, Vol 1), translated by Ray La Fontaine (1994) [3] and The White Knight: Tirant lo Blanc (Project Gutenberg), translated by Robert S. Rudder (1995). There's also an adaptation in modern Catalan [17]

Film adaptation

The plot of the 2006 film adaptation is based on the later part of the adventures of Tirant and events leading to his involvement in Constantinople and afterwards.

Notes and references

  1. Its modern spelling, according to both the Valencian and the Catalan standard, is Tirant lo Blanc, but it is also referred to by its original spelling Tirant lo Blanch, where the h is silent.
  2. Taylor, Barry. "A Catalan classic rediscovered". The British Library.
  3. 1 2 Joanot Martorell; Ray la Fontaine (1994). Tirant lo Blanch: the Complete Translation. Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften. ISBN   0820416886.
  4. 1 2 Joanot Martorell; Martí Joan de Galba; David Rosenthal (1996). Tirant lo Blanch . Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN   0801854210.
  5. de Courcelles, Dominique (April 1996). "Voeu chevaleresque et voeu de croisade dans le roman de Tirant lo Blanc (1460-1490)". Les Cahiers du Centre de Recherches Historiques (in French). 16: 1–14. doi: 10.4000/ccrh.2652 . Among the Catalan literature of the late Middle Ages, the chivalric romance entitled Tirant lo Blanc is one of the best known works
  6. Manuel Muñoz (30 January 1985). "Rosenthal pudo al fin hablar en Valencia sobre su traducción de 'Tirant lo Blanc'". El País. Spain. Retrieved 13 September 2019. Rosenthal, the first translator into English of the masterpiece of the literature in Catalan language, written by the Valencians Joanot Martorell and Martí Joan de Galba, was boycotted in his first attempt to give a talk in the city [Valencia]
  7. Edward T. Aylward (1985). Martorell's Tirant lo Blanch: A Program for Military and Social Reform in Fifteenth-Century Christendom. University of North Carolina Press, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for its Department of Romance Studies. ISBN   0807892297. Only in the late 1940s did Hispanists begin to awaken to the considerable literary qualities of this unique Catalan work of fiction
  8. Conca, Maria, and Josep Guia. "A Poetic Game of Proverbs. Study and Annotated Edition of Refranys rimats, a 15th-century Catalan Literary Work." Catalan Review 17 (2003) 53-86.
  9. Daniel Eisenberg, "Pero Pérez the Priest and his Comment on Tirant lo Blanch, MLN ( Modern Language Notes ), volume 88, 1973, pp. 320-330, https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/deisenbe/cervantes/peroperezhigh.pdf included in Eisenberg, Romances of Chivalry in the Spanish Golden Age, Newark, Delaware, Juan de la Cuesta, 1982. http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/servlet/SirveObras/01159841877587238327702/index.htm
  10. Daniel Eisenberg, La biblioteca de Cervantes, in Studia in honorem Martín de Riquer, volume 2, Barcelona, Quaderns Crema, 1987, pp. 271-328; online as "La reconstrucción de la biblioteca de Cervantes", pp. 41-52 of La biblioteca de Cervantes: Una reconstrucción, https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/deisenbe/cervantes/reconstruction.pdf on p. 51.
  11. Joanot Martorell; Comte de Caylus (1997). Tirant le Blanc. Éditions Gallimard. ISBN   2070751090.
  12. Joanot Martorell; Lelio Manfredi (1556). Della historia del valorosissimo et invittissimo cavallier Tirante il Bianco. Domenico Farri.
  13. Joanot Martorell; Diego de Gumiel; Vicent Escartí (2005). Tirante el Blanco. Traducción castellana, Valladolid, 1511. Editorial Tirant lo Blanch. ISBN   9788484560234.
  14. Joanot Martorell; Rozalya Sasor (2007). Tirant Biały. Ksiegarnia Akademicka.
  15. Joanot Martorell; Marina Abramova; P. A. Skobtsev; E. E. Guixina (2006). Tirant lo Blanch. Ladomir: Nauka.
  16. Joanot Martorell; David H. Rosenthal; Paavo Lehtonen (1987). Tirant Valkoinen. Gummerus. ISBN   9512026678.
  17. Joanot Martorell, translation by Màrius Serra. https://www.llibres.cat/products/482338-tirant-lo-blanc.html

Related Research Articles

<i>Don Quixote</i> Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote is a Spanish epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. It was originally published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. Considered a founding work of Western literature, it is often labelled as the first modern novel and one of the greatest works ever written. Don Quixote is also one of the most-translated books in the world and one of the best-selling novels of all time.

Year 1490 (MCDXC) was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joanot Martorell</span> Valencian writer and knight

Joanot Martorell was a Valencian knight and writer, best known for authoring the novel Tirant lo Blanch, written in Catalan/Valencian and published at Valencia in 1490. This novel is often regarded as one of the peaks of the literature in Catalan language and it played a major role in influencing later writers such as Miguel de Cervantes, who, in the book burning scene of Don Quixote, says "I swear to you, my friend, this is the best book of its kind in the world". The novel deals with the adventures of a knight in the Byzantine Empire; it is considered one of the first works of alternate history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Valencian language</span> Language of the Valencian Community

Valencian or Valencian language is the official, historical and traditional name used in the Valencian Community of Spain to refer to the Romance language also known as Catalan, either as a whole or in its Valencia-specific linguistic forms. The Valencian Community's 1982 Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution officially recognise Valencian as the name of the regional language.

This article is a list of the literary events and publications in the 15th century.

David H. Rosenthal (1945–1992) was an American author, poet, editor, and translator. He wrote mostly on the history of jazz music and was also an important translator of Catalan literature. Among his translations was the first English rendering of the Catalan epic "Tirant Lo Blanch," of which Cervantes said, "I swear to you, my friend, it's the best book of its kind in the world."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Catalan literature</span> Literature in the Catalan language

Catalan literature is the name conventionally used to refer to literature written in the Catalan language. The focus of this article is not just the literature of Catalonia, but literature written in Catalan from anywhere, so that it includes writers from Andorra, the Valencian Community, Balearic Islands and other territories where any Catalan variant is spoken.

Martí Joan de Galba was once considered to be the co-author of the famous Valencian epic Tirant lo Blanch, which he worked on after the death of his friend, Joanot Martorell. But the nature of his contributions have been called into question, based on differences in the manuscript and the first printed edition by Nicolás Spindeler.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chivalric romance</span> Type of prose and verse narrative

As a literary genre, the chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the noble courts of high medieval and early modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a chivalric knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest. It developed further from the epics as time went on; in particular, "the emphasis on love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Megas doux</span> Title for the commander-in-chief of the Byzantine Navy

The megas doux was one of the highest positions in the hierarchy of the later Byzantine Empire, denoting the commander-in-chief of the Byzantine navy. It is sometimes also given in English by the half-Latinizations megaduke or megadux. The Greek word δούξ is the Hellenized form of the Latin term dux, meaning leader or commander.

<i>Tirant lo Blanc</i> (film) 2006 film

Tirant lo Blanc is a 2006 historical adventure film directed by Vicente Aranda and starring Casper Zafer, Esther Nubiola and Victoria Abril. The script was written by Aranda based on Tirant lo Blanch, a Valencian language chivalry romance dating to 1490, written by Joanot Martorell. It presents a highly fictionalized alternate history narrative of the events leading to the Fall of Constantinople.

The early modern period in Catalan literature and historiography, while extremely productive for Castilian writers of the Siglo de Oro, has been termed La Decadència, an era of decadence in Catalan literature and history, generally thought to be caused by a general falling into disuse of the vernacular language in cultural contexts and lack of patronage among the nobility, even in lands of the Crown of Aragon. This decadence is thought to accompany the general Castilianization of Spain and overall neglect of the Crown of Aragon's institutions after the dynastic union of the crowns of Castile and Aragon that resulted from the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, a union finalized in 1474.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francisco de Moncada, 3rd Marquis of Aitona</span> Spanish diplomat, soldier and writer

Francisco de Moncada, 3rd Marquis of Aytona, (1586–1635) was a Spanish diplomat, soldier and writer of the early 17th century. He was also interim Governor of the Spanish Netherlands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Martí de Riquer i Morera</span> Spanish-Catalan literary historian

Martí de Riquer i Morera, 8th Count of Casa Dávalos was a Spanish literary historian and Romance philologist, a recognised international authority in the field. His writing career lasted from 1934 to 2004. He was also a nobleman and Grandee of Spain.

Marina Abràmova is a Russian expert in Catalan culture, born in Moscow in 1955.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roger de Flor</span> Italian military adventurer and condottiere

Roger de Flor, also known as Ruggero/Ruggiero da Fiore or Rutger von Blum or Ruggero Flores, was an Italian military adventurer and condottiere active in Aragonese Sicily, Italy, and the Byzantine Empire. He was the commander of the Great Catalan Company and held the title Count of Malta.

Albert Guillem Hauf i Valls is a Majorcan philologist, literature historian and literary critic. He is a specialist in Catalan and Occitan medieval literature.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Route of the Valencian classics</span>

The Route of the Valencian classics,, is a cultural route through the lands of the great classical writers of the Valencian literature of the Valencian Golden Age: Ausiàs March, Joanot Martorell and Joan Roís de Corella, the three related to the court of the Duke Alfonso of Aragon and Foix, "the Old".

Josep Palomero i Almela is a Valencian linguist and vice-president of the Valencian Language Academy.

Amparo Cabanes Pecourt is a Spanish historian, professor of paleography, writer, and politician. From 1981 to 1983 she was a Councilor of the Valencian Community. In her writings she has defended the position that Valencian is not Catalan.