Joan PERUJO MELGAR, "La coherència estructural del Tirant lo Blanch", Textos universitaris, València: Institut de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert and Generalitat Valenciana, 1995, 287 p.

"Memòries de licenciatura" are rarely published. That Joan Perujo's did find it's way into print speaks highly of the training he received under professor Alemany at the University of Alacant, of his own youthful intelligence and eagerness, and of the two meritorious funding institutions.

The goal of Perujo's research was to "establish clarly if there is a cohesive narrative project in the [Tirant] or if it is nothing more than an incoherent narration" [231]. The method applied to determine this is the semiological structuralism of the Propp-Todorov-Greimas school, with which Perujo familiarized himself through Roland Barthes' and Claude Bremond's model studies published in Barthes' anthology translated into Spanish under the title [Ana'lisi estructural del relato.

Perujo first explains the key concepts used in an Inventory of narrative Functions, functions which can be of a Distributional nature [cardinal nuclei and catalytic or complementary units], or else are Integrative (of the indicative or informative kind). In the main part of his book [37-190], he takes us through all of the [Tirant], grouping the narrative nuclei into sequences, often helping to visualize macrostructures with morphosyntactic flow-charts. Anyone familiar with the [Tirant] will enjoy this part of the book, since it is basically a well structured plot-outline, separating the main elements from complementary units. Some theory-induced claims might surprise, for instance the statement that after cap. 98, after Tirant's return to Brittany, "la narracio' nome's pot continuar en el sentit d'un proce's de degradacio'" [95]. Some thematic groupings into macrosequences are less convincing than others: Tirant's progress in love is divided into four sequences, "[l'enamorat] [fenyedor / pregador / entenedor / drutz]", which is in itself quite interesting, but is not justified by the structuralist method alone. That method, on the other hand, is [ab]used by Perujo to create a super-macrostructure, where the whole dramatic chain of events from Tirant believing that his bride had sex with the gardener to his shipwreck as a nude prisoner in Africa disappears between the cracks. Strictly separating Tirant's military/political life from his love life, Perujo tries to achieve his main objective: to show that there is no "fourth part" in the novel which one might be tempted to identify with the "fourth part" mentioned in the colophone of the 1490 incunabulum, attributing it to a second author.

To prove that there is only one mind at work behind the [Tirant] is the purpose also of the second chapter of Perujo's thesis. He offers dozens of exemples of how the novel's author reinforced his masterplan by recapitulating narrative elements of previous chapters [193-198], by anticipating through dreams, prophecies, announcements and forshadowing future events in the novel [198-213], and by elaborating parallelisms or contrasts between events [213-215]. Perujo then adds seven pages to explain away what he calls "Mi'nimes incoherències del relat" [221-226]. The theory that Martorell was the one and only author of the [Tirant] is then shown in the book's final part to be the best, since all opposing opinions, by a good dozen of other scholars, can be eliminated for one reason or another [229-269].

Nevertheless, Perujo lets his reader know in more than one passage that he does not want to forclose the question if there were more than mind and one pen at work in the [Tirant] [in addition to the sources used]. After all, Martorell died around April 1464, and the novel wasn't published until 1490.

No doubt, the recent announcement by Marti' de Riquer that he now believes that the moneylender Galba had done nothing to the manuscript Martorell had given him as a pawn but storing it until the day it was printed, has had its intended impact. But maybe it backfired! While many readers of the [Tirant] now [re]discover the thematic and structural unity of the novel, some now believe that the mastermind behind the novel as published in 1490 could be.... Joan Roi's de Corella!

Once this new hypothesis by Josep Guia will have been published, the debate will heat up. I hope [tirantists] from all over the world will participate in the discussion. Joan Perujo's book will be required reading for all of them.