Book Chapter

Rewriting and Visualizing the Cid: The Reconstruction of Medieval Gender and Race in Argentinian Graphic Novels



De Souza R (2023) Rewriting and Visualizing the Cid: The Reconstruction of Medieval Gender and Race in Argentinian Graphic Novels. In: Altschul N & Ruhlmann M (eds.) Iberoamerican Neomedievalisms: “The Middle Ages” and Its Uses in Latin America. Arc Medievalist. Leeds: Arc Humanities Press, pp. 173-201.

First Paragraph: this essay compares the modern rewriting and visualizing of the medieval Castilian epic Poema de mio Cid (PMC) in two as-yet unstudied Argentinian graphic novels: Cantar de mio Cid (2012) (CMC) written by Manuel Morini and illustrated by Ivan Jacob, and Mio Cid (2018) (MC) written by Alejandro Farias, illustrated by Antonio Acevedo and coloured by Nicolás Avila. Both are creative manifestations of neomedievalism; a lens that is yet to be applied to Latin American comics. Here I understand neomedievalism in the same way in which Haydock previously defined medievalism, as “a discourse of contingent representations derived from the historical Middle Ages, composed of marked alterities to and continuities with the present.” Though scholars have attempted to distinguish medievalism from neomedievalism based upon to what extent a modern recreation of the medieval is “fictionalized” or “fantastical,” such as Richard Utz and KellyAnn Fitzpatrick, this distinction is ultimately untenable and imprecise, particularly when dealing with creative forms alien to the Middle Ages including cinema and graphic novels. An element of visual creativity or fantasy is unavoidable in graphic novels, though the story might explicitly rewrite medieval precedent. Nadia Altschul has also made a cogent case for neomedievalism over medievalism in this volume, given its Anglocentric origins and confusing conflation with medieval studies. I thus consider these graphic novels neomedievalist recreations, though I nevertheless write as a medievalist familiar with the earliest extant version of the story found in PMC. This article will therefore explore how this earlier text has been transformed as well as how its resultant recreations in the graphic novel form react to their modern Argentinian context of reception. This approach is informed by Gérard Genette’s framework of intertextual relationships: the earliest extant version of the PMC (ca. 1207) is explicitly denoted in both cases as the hypotext upon which the graphic novels are grafted, as hypertextual reworkings that have the capacity for transformation as well as imitation.

FundersUniversity of Oxford
Title of seriesArc Medievalist
Publication date31/12/2023
Publication date online31/03/2023
PublisherArc Humanities Press
Publisher URL…neomedievalisms/
Place of publicationLeeds

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Dr Rebecca De Souza

Dr Rebecca De Souza

Lecturer in Spanish, Spanish