By Barbara Fuchs
In the Western mind's eye, Spain frequently conjures up the colourful tradition of al-Andalus, the Iberian zone as soon as governed through Muslims. vacationer brochures inviting viewers to sunny and romantic Andalusia, domestic of the creative gardens and complicated arabesques of Granada's Alhambra Palace, usually are not the 1st texts to exchange on Spain's dating to its Moorish previous. regardless of the autumn of Granada to the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 and the next repression of Islam in Spain, Moorish civilization persevered to steer either the truth and the notion of the Christian country that emerged in preference to al-Andalus.
In Exotic Nation, Barbara Fuchs explores the paradoxes within the cultural development of Spain on the subject of its Moorish history via an research of Spanish literature, dress, language, structure, and chivalric practices. among 1492 and the expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslims forcibly switched over to Christianity) in 1609, Spain tried to come back to phrases with its personal Moorishness by way of concurrently repressing Muslim topics and appropriating their wealthy cultural historical past. Fuchs examines the categorical romanticization of the Moors in Spanish literature—often known as "literary maurophilia"—and the complicated, frequently silent presence of Moorish varieties in Spanish fabric tradition. The vast hybridization of Iberian tradition means that the sympathetic depiction of Moors within the literature of the interval doesn't alternate in exoticism yet as a substitute reminded Spaniards of where of Moors and their descendants inside Spain. in the meantime, observers from outdoors Spain well-known its cultural debt to al-Andalus, frequently intentionally casting Spain because the unique racial different of Europe.