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Historiografía y ficción: La construcción del discurso en la Estoria de España (MS 7583) de Alfonso X


There is a category in Spanish literature and history that meets in two different genres: historiography and romance. An example of this is found in the manuscript 7583, a revised version of Alfonso X’s Estoria de España. MS 7583 copies the historical events, but it also interrupts historical discourse with three fictional romances seeking to present them as historical fact. The fictional cycle is composed of the romance “Flores y Blancaflor,” “Berta,” and “Carlos Mainete.” My dissertation studies the intersection of history writing and literary fiction in this version of the chronicle.

I analyze how fictional elements were used to construct a fictional history of Spain. In it, the historiographic formulas overlap with narrative literary topics. I enquire on how the narrative discourse was adapted to a historical chronicle, and how history and romances were interwoven into the chronicle. I focus on three main topics: the interweavings of both discourses across the manuscript; the authorial representation of historical sources; and narrative technique. I show how the compiler of MS 7583 imitates historiographic narrative structures when he inserts fictional romances to manipulate historical events. In the chronicle, the Carolingian cycle mentioned is treated as a historical event that explicitly incorporates Moorish genealogy into the imperial lines of Spain and France. I examine how this type of interpolation was made and what were the purposes of this appropriation of history through fiction. I argue that the narrative discourse in the text presents characteristics of both of them, at the same time that it is not one nor the other per se.

To support my argument, I use the Cervantine term “baciyelmo.” I claim that, as the “baciyelmo,” MS 7583 represents a diffused hybrid of romance and historiography. I also examine the genealogic and discursive manipulation and the narrative techniques that allows the intersection of history and fiction. I find in MS 7583 similar narrative characteristics as found in Chivalric romances and later in Crónica del rey don Rodrigo and Amadís de Gaula, specifically with the uses of author and authorship, and narrative techniques. My dissertation analyzes both discourses in order to define how the narrative discourse is constructed and show how these complementary disciplines oblige us to rethink our approaches to both fields.

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