chapter  5
21 Pages

Merlin in Spanish Literature

WithBARBARA D. MILLER

Representations of the enchanter figure differ notably among Hispanic texts. For instance, Merlin’s characterization in the Spanish medieval prose romance, El baladro del sabio Merlín (Burgos, 1498; Seville, 1535), contrasts sharply with his persona as set forth in Benjamin Jarnés’s modern experimental novel, Viviana y Merlín (1936). Although variation between such chronologically and generically disparate works may be inevitable, the Baladro protagonist nevertheless functions as the prototype for most ensuing Spanish versions, or as their comparative foil. In this sense, the Baladro prophet determines the majority of Spanish Merlins.