“CURIAL and GÜELFA”:
A NOVEL by MILÁ i FONTANALS.
CATALAN LITERARY LIES.
In the first week of September 2011, we attended the lectures at the Congress: "Women and Literature” commemorating Elizabeth of Villena´s Year, by the Institució Alfóns the Magnanim (Valencia.SPAIN). Amongst the diferent lectures there was one by the teacher Elizabeth Grifoll (“Women at the Tirant Lo Blanch in the Mediaeval Literature”) that established the parallels between the women of the famous Valencian novel “Tirant Lo Blanch”(Golden Century of the VALENCIAN Literature) and the women of the Catalan novel “Curial and Güelfa”, by a
supposedly "anonymous" author.
The word “anonymous“ is purposely quotated…. During the Congress, the failed attempt by the nazionalcatalanism to invent a literary and historical past and imitate the brilliant Golden Literary Valencian Century, produced several lectures on the `anonimus´ “Curial and Güelfa”. We are talking about a novel of adventures that the Catalan fantasy wanted to make a creation of the15th century but that, in fact, is another of the numerous 19th century cheats produced by Catalanist `delirium´.
Twenty years ago the historian and archivist of the A.C.A.(Archivo Corona de Aragón) Jaume Riera Sans denounced the false authorship of the above mentioned novel. According to his lecture “The cheats in the Catalan literature until the 15th century”, given in the Congress of the Association of Catalan Llengua i Literature (Alicante,1991), the novel “Curial and Güelfa” is not a creation of the 15th century, as believed, but a novel written in the 19th century by its supposed discoverer Manuel Milá i Fontanals (1818-1884).
Apparently, Milá i Fontanals suffered what the historian Riera Sans called “ Erasmo’s syndrome” (= the vice of creating false documents) that had affected several illustrious `renaixentistes´ Catalan writers like Jeroni Rosselló, Maria Aguiló, Grabriel Llabrés, etc. Milá i Fontanals was, actually, the producer of the famous novel supposedly `found´ by him in 1876.
According to the historian Riera Sans, the novel `Curial and Güelfa´ is a work of Milá i Fontanals who, trapped by his erudition, fantasy and patriotism created the first and only supposed to be historical novel in Catalan of the 19th century (NOT of the 15th). And according to him the three reasons to base Milas´s forgery are: a) linguistic; b) paleográfic; c) literary and d) cultural.
a) With regard to the linguistic reasons (amongst others) is the use of the preposition "amb" – that appears only when Milá claims it and introduces it for the first time – instead of usual "ab" more common in those days.
b) and c) With regard to the paleographic, literary and cultural reasons, Riera i Sans says that the novel is an anthology of diverse genres (sentimental, knights in armour, realistic, mythological and fantasy) which respond more to the esthetics of a “ nineteenth feuilleton” (folletín noucentista) than to a sentimental novel. Most of the untimely anomalies of the text are better understood if this novel is located in Milá´s years : the XIXth century.
The features of the supposed "anonymous" author of the “Curial i Güelfa” define a very expert person in Latin and romance literature and with great mythological erudition, two features in entire coincidence with those of Milá i Fontanals´novel. There are also iconographic and heraldic elements related to the “Mila”surname: Curial ´s representative shield has the design of a "kite" (milá in Catalan ) and the hero of the novel, after marrriage, turns into Duke of Milano (`milá´ in Catalan).
Finally, the tone pancatalanist that fills the novel (already detected previously by other scholars and investigators) is a pure ANACHRONISM more typical of the nationalistic 19th century fervour than that of the 15th .
And, without forgetting, that the document would not resist the "The Carbon-14 testing" ….
Once finished my unveiling comment , anyone could imagine the face of amazement of the lecturer and the clear annoyance expressed by the Catalan nationalist “brigade” at the Congress hall …. The proved false authorship of the “Curial i Güelfa” seemed to irritate the jingoistic nationalistic audience, intensively trained in the fantasies and tales of nazionalcatlanism: it was hard for them to assimilate such a documented bombarding of historical truths
They live pleased in their bag of historical lies.
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