By M. Hamilton
This publication makes a speciality of the methods exiled medieval Iberian intellectuals--Jewish, Arabic, and Christian--used canonical discourses to shape/create cultural versions that "go opposed to the grain," i.e. that fluctuate considerably from reliable eu and jap discourses. Representing Others examines how Iberian authors used the fictitious go-between to mirror on their position as cultural intermediaries and to open up areas within the dominant discourse for the diversity of voices that characterizes medieval Iberian tradition. Representing Others explores the techniques of id formation in a society/geographical sector usually excluded from discussions of either eu and center japanese histories and literatures.
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Additional info for Representing Others in Medieval Iberian Literature (The New Middle Ages)
And as regards a neglected woman and a man who exposes himself, both are lead to ruin and perish. 35 The good lover chooses not to put himself into compromising situations, whereas the evil lover deliberately seeks them out. Ibn Hazm identifies the strange/foreign woman as being particularly dangerous and as one of the experiences that the good/proper lover should avoid. The description of the evil lover who chooses depraved companions and superficial beauty in remote locales, particularly the beauty of strange women, could be a description of the lovers examined in Representing Others who tell their tales of beautiful women, seduction, and betrayal at the hands of the go-between from exile far from their homes.
He tells us that he remembers from his youth many women in Cordoba who conformed to his ideal of the trustworthy go-between. The go-betweens that inhabit Ibn Hazm’s memories become part of the Andalusi identity constructed in The Dove’s Neck Ring. These old women are absent from the Bedouin poetry Ibn Hazm refers to as Eastern and non-Andalusi. Whereas much of the rest of this treatise echoes beliefs and codes of love similar to those set forth by eastern Baghdadi authors, the chapter on the go-between is marked as Andalusi.
By stipulating that lovers must use go-betweens, Ibn Hazm admits an independent desiring subject into the most intimate of relations and assures that the desires and needs of the lover will always be subject to perversions. The go-between will always have the potential to control both lover and beloved. In the eleventh-century taifa courts of al-Andalus, love and the poetry of love continued to be the focus of courtly culture and to serve as the discourse of power. Ibn Hazm’s treatise on love is also a treatise on power.