Journal of Romance Studies

The Moor in the text: modern colonialism in medieval Christian Spain

Journal of Romance Studies (2006), 6, (3), 61–70.

Abstract

This article is a critique of the application of postcolonial theory to medieval texts. It focuses on two articles written by Israel Burshatin, ‘The docile image: the Moor as a figure of force, subservience, and nobility in the Poema de mio Cid ’ (1984), and ‘The Moor in the text: metaphor emblem and silence’ (1985), that apply Edward Said’s Orientalism to a reading of the Poema de mio Cid. The main argument is that there is a severe incompatibility between Said’s theory and the society and culture of which El poema de mio Cidis a product. The author claims that Burshatin’s articles fail to take into account a range of portrayals of Moors in the text, and severely misinterpret the role of the Cid’s Moorish vassal Abengalbón.

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McIntosh, Malachi