Review: El Conde Lucanor

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El Conde Lucanor Book Review
3 of 5 stars to El Conde Lucanor by Don Juan Manuel. So… I read this in a Spanish literature class about 15 years ago. I wrote a paper — in Spanish — about my thoughts on the story. I’ve cut / paste here… it’s all in Spanish, and I remember about 90% of the translation! For English-speakers, I’ve cut/paste a translation below the Spanish.

Una de las obras mas importantes de la Edad Media (Siglo XIV) en Espana es El Conde Lucanor o Libro de Patronio de Don Juan Manuel. En 1335, Don Juan Manuel termino de escribir la gran coleccion de cuentos que lleva por titulo El Conde Lucanor. Esta obra maestra de la ficcion espanola en prosa son una parte de la narrativa medieval. Esta obra estuvo el principio del florecimiento de la narrativa en Espana.
Don Juan Manuel nacio en Escalona en 1282. Era nieto del rey Fernando III y sobrino del rey Alfonso X. El era un miembro de la alta nobleza y tomo parte activa en las luchas politicas de su tiempo. La mayor ambicion a lo largo de toda su vida fue ayudar a sus hijas casaron con herederas del trono. A menudo Don Juan Manuel lucho contra su rey, sus parientes y los temas del tiempo. El se murio en Cordoba en 1348, pero nadie esta seguro que este era el ano. Don Juan Manuel era el intelectual arquetipico de su tiempo y como escritor si importancia era extraordinaria.
Don Juan Manuel anticipa las obras maestras de Il Decamerone del italiano Giovanni Boccaccio y The Canterbury Tales del ingles Geoffrey Chaucer en el siglo XIV. En El Conde Lucanor, Don Juan Manuel utiliza una estructura especifica en todos los cuentos. Emplea en esta obra un formato uniforme en los cincuenta y un cuentos de El Conde Lucanor. En la primera parte, el conde Lucanor se le presenta un problema. En la segunda parte, en vez de aconsejarle de manera directa, su ayo Patronio le narra un ejemplo. En la tercera parte, hay una moraleja. Don Juan Manuel escribe al final de cada cuento una moraleja, la cual de forma explicita revela el tema del cuento.
El libro consiste de cinco partes. La primera, la mas larga, es una recopilacion de cincuenta cuentos. Las otras cuatro partes, muy breves, son una serie de sentencias de estilo bastante oscuro. Los ejemplos de los cincuenta cuentos son variadisimos y en ellos esta presente toda la sociedad del siglo XIV. Los temas principles son la honra y el estado, la educacion de los jovenes, la idea de la fama, la defensa de las tierras y la salvacion del alma. “La importancia de El Conde Lucanor, obra estructurada en forma de breves relatos que imparten una leccion moral, estriba no solo en el caracter entretenido de las narraciones y en la gracia de su lenguage. En otra mano, hay la cantidad de problemas humanos y universales que el libro aborda con singular agudeza (Aproximaciones 20).”
Un ejemplo de uno de los cuentos en El Conde Lucanor es “Lo que sucedio a un mozo que caso una muchacha de muy mal caracter.” En este cuento, hay una introduccion, ejemplo, y moraleja como en todos los cuentos. En la introduccion el conde Lucanor esta hablando con Patronio sobre un amigo en que esta tratando de casar con una mujer muy rica y mas noble que el, pero la mujer tiene muy mal caracter. El conde Lucanor le pidio consejo a Patronio para su deudo. Este problema muestra la diferencia entre la clase alta y la clase baja. Don Juan Manuel estuvo diciendo que la clase alta es muy mala y la clase baja es muy buena. La razon para esa es que la esposa mala estuvo de la clase alta. El esposo estuvo de la clase baja. Despues de la introduccion del problema, Patronio le dio un ejemplo sobre un hombre de un pueblo de hace muchos anos.
En el ejemplo de Patronio, el hombre tambien tiene que casarse con una mujer muy mala o el padre le mataria a el. Las familias de los esposos creen que la mujer le mataria al esposo, sin embargo lo contrario es que ocurrio. Del principio del matrimonio, el esposo (el mozo) decidio que le daria ordenes a su esposa. Entonces, ella seria muy loca en la cabeza. El quiere demonstrar que el es “el hombre de la casa.” El dice al perro “danos agua a los manos.” Despues le dice al gato, al caballo y a la mujer la misma cosa. La esposa creia que estaba loco y no le decia nada. Entonces, la mujer, que esperaba de un momento a otro ser despedaza se levanto muy de prisa y le dio agua a las manos. Otro dia, los padres y parientes de los dos fueron a la casa, y al no oir a nadie, temieron que el novio estuviera muerto o herido. Sin embargo todos recibieron una sorpresa porque ellos vieron que el hombre tuvo controla de su esposa. Parece que los casados son contentos hasta su muerte. Despues del ejemplo, Patronio le dice al conde Lucanor la moraleja.
La moraleja del cuento es que “todos los que hubieren de tratar con vos les deis a entender desde el principio como han de portarse.” En el fin del cuento, el conde Lucanor tuvo consejo que estuvo bueno. Don Juan Manuel escribio un cuento excelente porque la estructura ayuda a los lectores entender mucho. El Conde Lucanor de Don Juan Manuel es un cuento muy interesante. Todo el ser humano deben leer.

English Translation
One of the most important works of the Middle Ages (14th century) in Spain is The Count Lucanor or Book of Patronius of Don Juan Manuel. In 1335, Don Juan Manuel finished writing the great collection of short stories entitled El Conde Lucanor. This masterpiece of Spanish fiction in prose is a part of medieval narrative. This work was the beginning of the flowering of the narrative in Spain.
Don Juan Manuel was born in Escalona in 1282. He was grandson of King Ferdinand III and nephew of King Alfonso X. He was a member of the high nobility and took an active part in the political struggles of his time. The greatest ambition throughout his life was to help his daughters marry heirs of the throne. Often Don Juan Manuel fought against his king, his relatives and the subjects of the time. He died in Cordoba in 1348, but no one is sure that this was the year. Don Juan Manuel was the archetypal intellectual of his time and as a writer if importance was extraordinary.
Don Juan Manuel anticipates the masterpieces of Il Decamerone by Italian Giovanni Boccaccio and The Canterbury Tales by Englishman Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. In El Conde Lucanor, Don Juan Manuel uses a specific structure in all stories. In this work he uses a uniform format in the fifty-one stories of El Conde Lucanor. In the first part, Count Lucanor has a problem. In the second part, instead of directly advising him, his tutor Patronio tells an example. In the third part, there is a moral. Don Juan Manuel writes at the end of each story a moral, which explicitly reveals the theme of the story.
The book consists of five parts. The first, the longest, is a compilation of fifty stories. The other four parts, very brief, are a series of rather dark style sentences. The examples of the fifty stories are varied and in them is present the whole society of the fourteenth century. The main themes are honor and status, the education of the young, the idea of ​​fame, the defense of lands and the salvation of the soul. “The importance of Count Lucanor, a work structured in the form of short stories that impart a moral lesson, lies not only in the entertaining character of the narratives and in the grace of their language. In another hand, there are the number of human and universal problems that the book deals with singular sharpness (Approximations 20). ”
An example of one of the stories in El Conde Lucanor is “What happened to a young man who married a girl of very bad character.” In this story, there is an introduction, example, and moral as in all stories. In the introduction Count Lucanor is talking with Patronio about a friend in which he is trying to marry a woman very rich and nobler than he, but the woman has very bad character. Count Lucanor asked Patronio for advice. This problem shows the difference between the upper class and the lower class. Don Juan Manuel was saying that the upper class is very bad and the lower class is very good. The reason for that is that the bad wife was from the upper class. The husband was from the lower class. After the introduction of the problem, Patronio gave an example of a man from a village many years ago.
In the example of Patronio, the man also has to marry a very bad woman or the father would kill him. Husband families believe that the wife would kill her husband, however the opposite is true. From the beginning of the marriage, the husband (the waiter) decided that he would give orders to his wife. Then she would be very crazy in the head. He wants to show that he is “the man of the house.” He tells the dog to “give water to the hands.” Then he tells the cat, the horse, and the woman the same thing. The wife thought she was crazy and did not say anything. Then the woman, who was hoping to be torn apart at once, rose very quickly and poured water into her hands. Another day, the parents and relatives of the two went to the house, and not hearing anyone, feared that the boyfriend was dead or injured. However they all got a surprise because they saw that the man had control of his wife. It seems that the married are happy until their death. After the example, Patronio tells Count Lucanor the moral.
The moral of the story is that “all who will deal with you will give them to understand from the beginning how they should behave.” At the end of the story Count Lucanor had good advice. Don Juan Manuel wrote an excellent story because the structure helps the readers to understand a lot. The Count Lucanor of Don Juan Manuel is a very interesting story. All human beings should read.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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