WEMSK33:Old Spanish Literature
1. Bibliographic guides.
a. Donald W. Bleznick, A Sourcebook for Hispanic Literature and
Language (Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1974). Includes lists of
periodicals, book dealers, addresses.
b. Hensley C. Woodbridge, Guide to Reference Works for thee Study
of the Spanish Language and Literature andd Spanish American
Literature, 2d ed. (NY: MLA, 1997). At times thin; surprising
lacunae, but good for the beginner.
a. Homero Seris, Manual de bibliografia de la literatura espanola,
2 vols. (Syracuse: Centro de Estudios Hispanicos, 1948-54).
Outstanding on peripherals such as art, culture, folklore. Do not
b. Jose Simon Diaz, Manual de bibliografia de la literatura
espanola, 2d ed. (Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 1966). 2d supplement
1972. First port of call for a general subject.
c. Jose Simon Diaz, Bibliografia de la literatura hispanica, III,
2d ed. (Madrid: CSIC, 1963-65). THE bibliography, with intensive
coverage of everything. Supplements in the Revista de Literatura.
3. List of the corpus: A list of the corpus can be garnered fairly
well by looking at Simon Diaz, but a good place to look is:
a. Bibliography of Old Spanish Texts, compiled by Charles B.
Faulhaber et al. Bibliographic Series, no. 4, 3d ed. (Madison:
Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1984). This is also included
in ADMYTE (see below) and online on the PhiloBiblon site (see
below), which is kept up-to-date and is the best form in which to
consult BOOST (there called BETA).
a. Ramon Menendez Pidal, Rafael Lapesa and Maria Soledad de Andres,
Crestomatia del espanol medieval, 2 vols. (Madrid: Gredos,
1965-66). Citable texts. Buy it if you can get it. Don Ramon was
the outstanding authority in the field.
b. Florencio Janer, ed., Poetas Castellanos anteriores al Siglo
Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles, vol. 57 (Madrid: Real Academia
Espanola, 1864; reprinted over and over). This contains a good
deal of the corpus, e.g. El Cid, all of Berceo, etc. Old, but
generally good. Hard to read on occasions, but worth buying and
carrying around with you, in my case with a magnifying glass.
5. Histories of literature:
a. Guillermo Diaz-Plaja, ed., Historia general de las literaturas
hispanicas, 7 vols. (Barcelona: Vergara, 1949-68). Good
bibliographies. The standard. Vol. 1 goes to 1400, so you need to
look at the first two volumes. Look here first.
b. A good desk history of Spanish literature: Angel del Rio,
Historia de la literatura espanola, 2d ed., 2 vols. (NY: Holt,
1963). About 150 pp. on the Middle Ages.
c. Another: Angel Valbuena Prat, Historia de la literatura
espanola, 4 vols. (1st on MA), 8th ed. (Barcelona: Gustavo Gili,
d. A good work in English, by an outstanding authority: Alan
Deyermond, The Middle Ages. Vol. 1 of A Literary History of Spain,
7th ed. (London: Ernest Benn, 1980); also available in Spanish
translation: Historia de la literatura espanola 1. La edad media
(Barcelona: Ariel, 1980).
e. Francisco Lopez Estrada, Introduccion a la literatura medieval
espanola, 5th ed. Biblioteca Romanica Hispananica, III. Manuales,
no. 4 (Madrid: Gredos, 1983). Interpretive, grouped by aspects and
themes, e.g. rhetoric, philology, European influences.
f. Alan Deyermond, Edad media. Vol. 1 of Historia y critica
literatura espanola (Barcelona: Editorial Critica, 1980). Includes
for each section an introductory essay, a bibliography and a
selection of authorities, translated into Spanish where needed. The
best one-volume work; good bibliographies.
a. Odres Nuevos (Madrid: Editorial Castalia) offers good texts
Modern Spanish, often with independent scholarly value, e.g. Daniel
Devoto's edition of Berceo's Milagros.
6. Scholarly series:
a. Clasicos Castellanos (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe).
b. Clasicos Castalia (Madrid: Editorial Castalia).
c. Letras Hispanicas (Madrid: Editorial Catedra).
7. If you are looking for a translation: Robert S. Rudder, The
Literature of Spain in English Translation. A Bibliography (NY:
Ungar, 1975). Quite good.
a. If you are interested in those mysterious and unspellable
kharjas of Old Spanish (?): Richard Hitchcock, The Kharjas.
Research Bibliograhies & Checklists, 20 (London: Grant & Cutler,
b. The Wilson for Old Spanish is just getting started: Alan
Deyermond, La literatura perdida de la Edad Media castillana.
Catalogo y estudio. I. Epica y romances (Salamanca: Ediciones
Universidad de Salamanca, 1995). Its author has published a number
of articles on the subject.
c. Charles B. Faulhaber, Libros y Bibliotecas en la Espanna
Medieval. Research Bibliographies & Checklists (London: Grant &
Cutler, 1987). A must.
d. Although he has treated Iberian Hymnody quite thoroughly in
Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung, I thought you might like
his short wrap-up: Joseph Szo"ve/rffy, Iberian Hymnody. Survey and
Problems (Wetteren, Belgium: Classical Folia Editions, 1971). By an
outstanding authority. Easy to read.
Some Electronic Resources
For the most part, this part of WEMSK eschews electronic resources,
but those for Old Spanish are so good and so useful that I thought
to include some here, to be augmented later by the electronic form
1. ADMYTE, the Archivo Digital de Manuscritos y Textos Espanoles,
consists of several CD-ROMs, all explained well by Charles B.
Faulhaber, "Update on ADMYTE for 1995," La Coronica 23.2 (Spring,
1995), 104-110, including a table of contents. Happy is the
scholarly whose library has these. There have been complaints about
its up-front engine, but I have had no trouble at all with it.
2. PhiloBiblon, a website devoted to peninsular texts:
http://sunsite.Berkeley.EDU/PhiloBiblon/. Offers Bibliografia
Espannola de Textos Antiguos (BETA), Bibliografia de Textos
Catalans Antics (BITECA), Bibliografia de Antigos Textos Galegos e
Portugueses (BITAGAP), with bibliographies attached to each item,
+ many other services. You have to see it to believe it.
3. The Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, Madison, WI (now
is the primary repository (thanks to pioneering efforts by Lloyd
Kasten and others) of reproductions of Medieval Spanish works, for
decades made available in transcriptions by various scholars. Much
has now been made available on CD-ROMs at a reasonable price. None
of them have an up-front engine, so you need to know how to deal
with pure ASCII files. You can use TACT to change them into a more
comfortable format if you are computer challenged. A few of the
more general ones from my collection:
a. The Electronic Texts and Concordances of the Prose Works of
Alfonso X, El Sabio, prepared by Lloyd Kasten, John Nitti and
Wilhelmina Jonxis-Henkemans. CD-ROM series 1 (Madison: Hispanic
Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1997).
b. The Electronic Texts and Concordances of Medieval Navarro-
Aragonese Manuscripts, prepared by John Nitti and Lloyd Kasten. CD-
ROM series 2 (Madison: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies,
c. Early Celestina Electronic Texts and Concordancces, gen. ed.
A. Corfis and John O'Neill. CD-ROM series 3 (Madison: Hispanic
Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1997).
d. Textos y Concordancias Electronicos del Corpus Medico Espanol,
preparado bajo la direccion de Ma. Teresa Herrera y Ma. Estela
Gonzalez de Fauve. CD-ROM series 4 (Madison: Hispanic Seminary of
Medieval Studies, 1997).
e. Textos y Concordancias Electronicos de Documentos Castellanos
Alfonso X, Teresa Herrera, Nieves Sanchez, Estela Gonzalez de
Fauve, Purificacion Zabia. CD-ROM series 7 (Madison: Hispanic
Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1999).
f. Electronic Texts and Concordances of the Madison Corpus of
Spanish Manuscripts and Printings, prepared by John O'Neill
(Madison & NY: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1999). The
most varied of the offerings. Unfortunately, my copy came without
a pamphlet, so the bibliographical information in incomplete, but
it contains close to 200 items.