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Writing Without Borders: Textual Hybridity in the Works of the Mancebo de Arévalo

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Using the Aljamiado work of the Morisco known as El Mancebo de Arévalo, this study demonstrates the multiculturalism of sixteenth-century Spain. Because of the intrinsic graphic and discursive hybridity of the Aljamiado phenomenon, in which Romance—Castilian in this case—is written using Arabic characters, the reader of the Mancebo's work is confronted with blurred cultural frontiers. The task of establishing his sources is also challenging, given that he draws on texts as diverse as the Qur'an, St. Paul, Thomas à Kempis, and La Celestina; and he includes quotations in Castilian as well as Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin. This author offers a compelling example of the cultural complexity of a Spain that is still heir to the coexistence of the “three cultures.”


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Affiliations: 1: University of Puerto RicoUniversity of Puerto Rico


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