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False Hope and Flawed Sainthood in Don Quixote: Al-Khidr, Al-
Transcript of False Hope and Flawed Sainthood in Don Quixote: Al-Khidr, Al-
Al-Khidr, Al-Mahdi and The Knight of the Green Coat."
God's grace in humanity: knowledge after ignorance
In the beginning was
the word: Read
Legendary aspects that share
a notion of "wisdom"
In Spain his figure merges with Al-Mahdi
Al-Khidr becomes legendary
Wise travel companion
Important in culture of moriscos s. XVI
Open to local interpretations
So...Why would Cervantes be interested?
What is cervantine about this specific "saint"?
In the name of Parody
Oh fortune, like the moon, your state is
Hypothesis: The Green Knight is a failed nobleman, but also a false Muslim "saint"
Fig. 1. Muslim sage Al-Khiḍr as shown in a
Mughal era manuscript miniature.
Mid 17th century, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, inventory number IS.48:12/A-1956.
Who is Al-Mahdi?
"a figure many Muslims believe will appear at the end of time to restore righteousness briefly - over the span of a few years - before the end of the world, The Day of Judgement" (Glassé, 280)
Detail from Cármina Burana (c. XI-XIII)
How could Cervantes
know about him?
Five years in Algeria
Clear interest in morisco culture
Flexible identity that will depend
on the expectations of the reader
in Cervantes’ time
Failed religious ideal, represented by
Don Diego, facing a dying moral ideal,
represented by Don Quixote
Image without substance