Popular Andalusi literature and Castilian fiction: Ziyad ibn ‘Amir al-Kinani, 101 Nights, and Caballero Zifar
Wacks, David A.
There is very little manuscript evidence of the popular (non-courtly) literature of al-Andalus. For this reason it is difficult to assess its importance for the development of Castilian literature, and more broadly, for our understanding of medieval Iberian literary practice as an interlocking set of systems that includes a number of linguistic, religious, and political groups. Ziyad ibn ‘Amir al-Kinani (Granada, ca. 1250) and the 101 Nights (Granada, 1234) are two examples of Andalusi popular fiction that provide important information for our understanding of works of early Castilian fiction such as the Libro del Caballero Zifar. The two Andalusi works provide evidence of a bilingual culture of storytelling that nourished both Arabic and Castilian literary texts. In particular, the inclusion of Arthurian material in Ziyad that predates the earliest translations of Arthurian texts into Castilian forces us to rethink both the sources of Zifar as well as the Iberian adaptation of Arthurian material in general