La Recepción De Alfred Lord Tennyson En España: Traductores Y Traducciones Artúricas

Article excerpt

Juan Miguel Zarandona, La Recepción de Alfred Lord Tennyson en España: Traductores y Traducciones Artúricas. ('The Reception of Alfred Lord Tennyson in Spain: Arthurian Translators and Translations.') Universidad de Valladolid Literature Series 68. Universidad de Valladolid, 2007. Pp. 253. ISBN: 978-84-8448-413-4. 19.43.

In this book, in Spanish, on the reception of Tennyson's works in Spain, Juan Miguel Zarandona expresses his unabashed admiration for a literary icon, in an age of dedicated iconoclasm. His well supported, unrelenting respect for the poet sets Zarandona apart in a cultural atmosphere where praise of white male authors associated with empire may be treated as heresy, and where such favorably balanced reappraisals are correspondingly rare. However this is not to say that the book is overtly political. In general, Zarandona focuses on the poetry first as art, yet does so without excluding or ignoring important contextual matters, thus rendering a thoughtfully honest evaluation. All this is done in characteristically comparative and interdisciplinary style. The author's tendency toward emphatically stated opinions is notable. But these personal takes are openly presented as such, and are consistently and dutifully accompanied by a variety of evidence and other commentary.

An introductory survey and analysis of the body of criticism on such basics as genre considerations and poetic quality is solid and thorough. Also Zarandona's comparisons among translators are informed and comprehensive. And although the question has evidently been considered in the past regarding certain texts, the commentary here on excessively derivative translation is bold. Nevertheless, the author's determination to prove or disprove plagiarism could bog down a reader who would prefer a fuller emphasis on close readings or other kinds of textual analysis.

It is only fair to note that if the section on Spanish authors influenced by Tennyson is surprisingly extensive, it is also apt and well rounded, including really interesting particulars on Unamuno as the English poet's avid reader, and a detailed study on Spanish vanguardist Benjamín Jarnés, who produced Arthurian prose in the shadow of approaching civil war. …