NEW RELEASES

SCRIPTA HUMANISTICA #179

LA PIEDRA AZUL: CAMILA Y EL REINO

Elías Hasbun, M.D.

Latin American prose fiction has become increasingly more read and appreciated by the public in general and examined critically with renewed vigor by the scholarly community. Evidence of this predilection for the great literary talent of New World writers is the fact that six authors from the region have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The present work, La Piedra Azul: Camila y el Reino, written by Elías Hasbun, M.D., is the third major work penned by the same author.   As with his preceding publications, El Jardín de la Culpa and La Fuga, this is a masterpiece of artistic erudition and socio-historical insight.  La Piedra Azul explores the nature of authentic versus spurious faith; as the novel’s characters search for their respective identities, the reader is drawn into a colorful world of contradictions and nonsense that parodies reality.  Agile, passionate, and funny, the novel describes the Lima of the 1980s, with its slums, poverty, and aspirations, and the contrasts between modernity and social indifference.

Throughout La Piedra Azul, the author manifests an acute sensitivity to the temporal and social dimension of his work, enriching it with a plethora of visual and symbolic images. In his socially and historically charged literary opus, Hasbun shows a superlative mastery in dealing with the psychological presentation of his characters the use of metafiction, dialogue, and rhetorical expressions.

In a vibrant style, Hasbun shines a thought-provoking light on his native Peru in a manner that echoes the finest chapters of Spanish and Latin American realism and is sure to captivate the attention of readers around the world. His latest novel, like his earlier works, will undoubtedly leave a mark on the literature of Latin America.

SCRIPTA HUMANISTICA #178

 

WEST MEETS EAST: Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II): Epistle to Mehmet II

Jaime Leaños -- Prologue by Paul Larson 

Perhaps the opening paragraph from Paul Larson’s (Baylor University) prologue to the Epistola ad Mahomatem II summarizes what this new Scripta Humanistica volume has to offer to readers of literature and history alike: “This new scholarly edition certainly begs the question: how can a fifteenth century letter from the then Pope Pius II to the Muslim conqueror of Constantinople have any relevance for contemporary scholars and students in the early 21st century? Embroiled as we are in chaotic and tumultuous religious and political conflict in Europe and the Middle East, perhaps the answer is only too obvious: the same political and religious concerns that drove Piccolomini to pen his letter are still applicable to today”.

 

Today’s political climate is no different from that of the Fourteenth Century and that is why Leaños’s work is so relevant in present time political rhetoric. Written in 1461, eight year after the Fall of Constantinople, Piccolomini’s work is a lengthy oration invoking a crusade against the Ottoman Empire. Throughout approximately the 90 folios of this missive, which elucidates the superiority of the Bible over the Qur’ãn, Pius II attempts to convert the Sultan to Christianity by providing arguments from doctrine, scripture, history, classical literature, political thought, and reason. Leaños’s work is extensive and his lucid study on one of the most famous rhetoricians, humanists, diplomats, and prelates of the Italian Renaissance, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini would benefit scholars and graduate students interested in the political-religious intersection between the West and the East.

ISBN: 1-882528-69-7                                                 pp. 173                                                     $69.95

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SCRIPTA HUMANISTICA #177

177.  EL SISTEMA FORMULAR DEL CANTAR DE MIO CID: ESTUDIO Y REGISTRO

Pablo Justel -- Prologue by Alberto Montaner

 

The use of fixed and variable expressions, one of the ways of repetition, is very common in the medieval poetic genres. Among them the epic is undoubtedly the one that uses these sequences the most, and these are the basis for the composition of the works, giving them a specific esthetic.

 

This monograph undertakes a comprehensive study of the formulaic language of the principal Spanish epic poem, the Cantar de mio Cid. First and foremost, the author analyzes the relationship between orality and the formulas, as well as the problems that this fact presents engendered by this relationship. Then, the numerous definitions of the formula and formulaic expression that have been proposed are reviewed, stressing the improvements that each of them strives to bring. Likewise, the book theorizes the notions of variation and fixation of these sequences, as well as the types of formulas, 

their function, their effects, the potential distinction between the expressions of the first hemistich and those of the second, and the quantitative data. All this furthers the working of the formulaic system, which acts on three levels: composition, textual constitution, and reception. The second part of this monograph contains a repertory of formulas and formulaic expressions, a task that until now has not been undertaken in its entirety.

 

This book constitutes the most thorough study of the formulas of the Cantar de mio Cid, because it offers a theorization of the formulaic system and explores closely the modus componendi of the anonymous Castilian poet. As a result, this monograph is essential to better understand this poem better, and it is also useful because of the way in which the Cid relates with the other epic compositions and medieval texts that usethis technique.

 

ISBN: 1-882528-68-9                                            pp. 180                                                 $69.95

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SCRIPTA HUMANISTICA #176

176.  LIFE AT ITS BEST: FACTS ABOUT THE NOBEL LAUREATES 1901-2015

Ralph Gunther

The present volume, intended for scholars and students engaged in research, as well as for a general readership, is an extensive, up-to- date history of the Nobel Prize. A collection of the documented facts, it contains relevant information about the Nobel laureates, including the 2014 recipients of the prize. As chance would have it, a long-standing record, held for 99 years, came to an abrupt halt in 2014: a teenager from Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and became the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize ever! As a result, Sir W. Lawrence Bragg, Australian-born, who had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915, and had become the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize at age 25, is now the 2 nd youngest winner of the Nobel Prize.

 

Covering 114 years of the awarding of the Nobel Prizes, 860 men and women became Nobel laureates. Of these, only 46 were/are women, about 5% of the total. It is known that Nobel laureates-to-be are in the spotlight long before receiving their Nobel Prizes, and that over the years, the progress made by scientific investigators has been extraordinary. Yet, knowledge of literary works, in prose or verse, expressing ideas of universal interest, is more widespread than knowledge of achievements in the fields of science. The Caribbean Sea, located in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere, and liberally sprinkled with islands of amazing beauty, is the birthplace of four Nobel laureates, three of them winners of Nobel Prizes for Literature. No other sea in the world contains island countries where three winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature were born within just a few nautical miles from each other.

 

This an interesting and informative study of significant historical importance for the world of science, letters, and the humanities in general. A most useful reference volume.

 

ISBN: 1-882528- 67-0                                           pp.230                                                $69.95

© 2016 Scripta Humanistica Publishing International

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