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Libro de Buen Amor [Paperback]

By J. Ruiz
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Item description for Libro de Buen Amor by J. Ruiz...

Libro de Buen Amor by J. Ruiz

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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.74" Width: 4.94" Height: 0.78"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Critica (Grijalbo Mondadori)
ISBN  8484321614  
ISBN13  9788484321613  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Untranslated > Spanish

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Excellent edition of the Libro de buen amor  Aug 4, 2007
Libro de buen amor, by Juan Ruiz, Arcipreste de Hita. Edited by Alberto Blecua for Letras Hispánicas. ISBN 8437610117.

Ordinarily I do not review books which I have not finished reading; but because this edition of the Libro de buen amor has received no reviews, and because my review will deal primarily with the edition and not with the work itself, I'll add my two cents.

Here's the table of contents:


El hilo narrativo
La fecha y el autor
La invención
El artista
Manuscritos y ediciones
Los problemas textuales
Errores separativos de α
Errores de α o de x
Errores no significativos de x
La rama S
Intervenciones de Paradinas
Las innovaciones de la rama S
La rama G
La rama T
El problema de las dos redacciones
La lengua del arquetipo
La métrica
Criterios de Edicion
El texto
Las variantes

Libro de buen amor (Blecua here lists each section by title and page number)

Variantes graficas y lingüísticas
Notas suplementarias
Indice de voces
Indice de nombres propios


As can be seen from the contents, Blecua does a thorough job discussing the textual problems of the LBA, and it's dry going unless you're interested in textual criticism. He also devotes seven pages to the meter, which along with the text, is "el otro gran problema que plantea el LBA." The metrical discussion, which of course assumes a basic knowledge of Spanish prosody, is of more practical use to the average reader than the textual one. For attempting to tackle the LBA without understanding the meter is as preposterous as reading Shakespeare and not knowing why he placed line breaks where he did.

The copious notes are of course designed for the SPANISH-SPEAKING undergraduate, and so idioms which might escape a native English speaker are not explained. Blecua explains his procedure thus: "[. . .] he puesto dos tipos de notas: unas, a pie de pagina, para el lector mas lego; otras, en el apendice, para discutir con la clerecia experta." The footnotes sometimes gloss one word, sometimes half a line, sometimes whole lines: anything which might present "dificultades para un estudiante de bachillerato." Since not all readers begin at the beginning and read the LBA through, he repeats throughout common glosses such as "inmediatamente" for "luego," "hora sexta" for "siesta," and "bienes materiales" for "algo." The endnotes are primarily philological and rather technical. The bibliography is thirty pages, and cites works in Spanish, English, French, and German.

The language of the text is not modernized, but the spelling is slightly modernized. Blecua replaces the long s and sigma with the modern `s,' reduces double consonants, and modernizes the usage of `u' and `v.' He preserves, however, the `c' with cedilla, along with other characteristics of fourteenth-century Spanish.

Here are the first two stanzas according to Blecua's edition (the brackets are his):

Señor Dios, que a los jodíos, pueblo de perdiçión,
sacaste de cabtivo del poder de Far[aón],
a Danïel sacaste del poço de Babilón:
saca a mí, coitado, d'esta mala presión.

Señor, tú diste gracia a Ester la reína,
ante el rey Asüero ovo tu graçia digna.
Señor, dame tu graçia e tu merçed aína,
sácame d'esta lazeria, d'esta presión [...ina].

The numbering of the stanzas is continuous throughout.

All in all, it's an excellent edition of the Libro de buen amor. I give it five stars because it combines excellent scholarship with a low price. Students might be better advised to start with Libro de buen amor), which is glossed in English. You can view sample pages at And there's also Cejador's venerable edition for the Clásicos Castellanos series, out-of-print but available for free on Project Gutenberg (

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