Cansinos Asséns‘s Monseñor Sabetay: a Reading

  • Ana Cecilia Prenz Kopušar University of Trieste
Keywords: Sephardim, reconciliation, Jewish themes, Cansinos Asséns, Šabetay Djaen

Abstract

This paper aims to present the short story Monseñor Sabetay by the Spanish writer Rafael Cansinos Asséns published in the book The Jews in Sefarad. Episodes and Symbols. This text, intense and poetic, tells the story of the meeting between the author and the great Rabbi and Sephardic playwright of Bulgarian origin Šabetay Djaen which took place in Madrid during the period of the Second Republic. The work discusses not only the meeting between the two writers but also the process of reconciliation between the Spanish and the descendants of the Spanish Jews, expelled in 1492, from different, though partially convergent, cultural spaces and experiences. Here the Castillian Spanish space, represented by the writer Cansinos Asséns, whose Jewish origin is acknowledged, and the Bosnian space, represented by the work of the playwright Šabetay Djaen, whose literary development tool place partly in Bosnia, come together. Some characteristics of Cansino’s Jewish works are highlighted in the story and the dramatic work of Šabetay Djaen is also presented through the critical readings of his work by some contemporary intellectuals and scholars in Bosnia.

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Author Biography

Ana Cecilia Prenz Kopušar, University of Trieste
Investigadora de Literatura Española en el Departamento de Estudios Humanísticos de la Universidad de Trieste, Italia. Se dedica al estudio del teatro español del Renacimiento, de la literatura judeoespañola en los Balcanes y del teatro argentino contemporáneo. En la misma institución coordina los siguientes proyectos: «Convergencias Peninsulares, ibérica, itálica, balcánica» entre la Universidad de Trieste y la Universidad de Sarajevo; y «Participación, investigación y formación Italia-Paraguay: alfabetización y escolarización de la infancia». Ha publicado, entre otras cosas, Da Sefarad a Sarajevo. Percorsi interculturali: le multiformi identità e lo spazio dell’Altro (CollanaBeth, ed. Esselibri,
Napoli, 2006); Contigüidades culturales en las piezas romanas de Bartolomé de Torres Naharro (Ediciones de la Universidad de La Plata, 2008); Incontri/ Disincontri, due percorsi nella cultura e letteratura spagnola e ispanoamericana (Ediciones de la Universidad de La Plata, 2008); Esterka de Laura Papo Bohoreta: drama en tres actos en judeoespañol de la comunidad sefardí de Bosnia, (La Plata: Biblioteca Orbis Tertius, Universidad Nacional de La Plata; Archivo Histórico de Sarajevo, 2012), Manuscritos de Laura Papo Bohoreta I y II (eds. 2015 y 2016).
Published
2016-12-29
How to Cite
Prenz Kopušar, A. C. (2016). Cansinos Asséns‘s Monseñor Sabetay: a Reading. Verba Hispanica, 24(1), 231-242. https://doi.org/10.4312/vh.24.1.231-242
Section
Literature