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Song Loves the MassesHerder on Music and Nationalism$
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Johann Gottfried Herder and Philip V. Bohlman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234949

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234949.001.0001

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The Epic as Nation

The Epic as Nation

Essay on Herder’s Der Cid

(p.221) 8. The Epic as Nation
Song Loves the Masses

Philip V. Bohlman

University of California Press

A full translation of the Iberian epic, El Cid, remained one of Herder’s most ambitious project throughout his life. Herder drew from several different sources, both Spanish and French, to create an expansive work of 70 cantos, which reflect the transmission in the smaller narrative forms of the Spanish romance and their realization in German through the line-by-line decasyllabic forms of epic, thereby representing its singability in oral tradition. The Cid’s story of encounter between religions in medieval Al-Andalus was widely known already in eighteenth-century Europe, but Herder’s translation, which would appear in hundreds of versions into the twentieth century, became one of the most sweepingly influential texts of epic nationalism.

Keywords:   Al-Andalus, Ballad, Christianity, El Cid, Epic, Iberia, Islam, North Africa, Romance, Romantic nationalism

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