1001 Reads

Regularly updated blog charting the most important novels of the last 2000 and something years

Friday, July 11, 2008

9. Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo - Amadis de Gaula (Amadis Of Gaul) (c.1450-1505)


A particularly long and particularly dull book. Chivalric romance can be better than this, but this is the ultimate descriptive book. No dialogue, not psychological insight into the characters, we are just told what is happening, in a very uptight writing style.

Yes it is representative of a style that was incredibly influential on the birth of the modern novel,without it there would have been no one to inspire Quixote, whose hero was Amadis.

But, boy is it dull... Although it does have the merit of giving the name to California, as that is the name of one of the places in the book (an island of Amazons), leading the Spanish conquistadores to give that name to the Area.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The book's style was praised by the usually demanding Juan de Valdés, although he considered that from time to time it was too low or too high a style. The language is characterized by a certain "Latinizing" influence in its syntax, especially the tendency to place the verb at the end of the sentence; as well as other such details, such as the use of the present participle, which bring Amadís into line with the allegorical style of the 15th century.

Nevertheless, there is a breach of style when Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo presents the fourth book. It becomes dull and solemn reflecting the nature of the intruding writer. The first three books are inspired in deeds and feats by knights errant, dating back to the XIII century, while the fourth book emerges as a less brilliant attachment of the XVI century. The very pristine style of the "Amadis" can be perceived in the few original famous pages analyzed by Antonio Rodriguez Moñino: It is lively and straight to the facts of war and love, with brief dialogs, all quite elegant and amusing. Amadís of Gaul is frequently referenced in the satirical classic Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes in the early 17th century. The character Don Quixote idolizes Amadís, and often compares his hero's adventures to his own.

Historically, Amadís was very influential amongst the Spanish conquistadores. Bernal Diaz del Castillo mentioned the wonders of Amadís upon witnessing the wonders of the New World - and such place names as California come directly from the work.

Some Spaniards have a dog named Amadis de Gaula, this is all I could find, sorry:


Post a Comment

<< Home