Cuaderno De Camelot: Cultura, Literatura Y Traducción Artúrica [Camelot Notebook: Arthurian Culture, Literature and Translation]

By Miller, Barbara D. | Arthuriana, December 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Cuaderno De Camelot: Cultura, Literatura Y Traducción Artúrica [Camelot Notebook: Arthurian Culture, Literature and Translation]


Miller, Barbara D., Arthuriana


JUAN MIGUEL ZARANDONA, ed., Cuaderno de Camelot: Cultura, Literatura y Traducción Artúrica [Camelot Notebook: Arthurian Culture, Literature and Translation]. Diputación Provincial de Soria, Spain: Province of Soria, 2002. Pp. 228. isbn: 84-95099-51-9. euro16.64.

In his post-modernistic prologue to Juan Miguel Zarandona's anthology, Cuaderno de Camelot, Jesús Rodríguez Velasco deems all books of chivalry 'translations,' and describes chivalric romance as a matrix for new meanings through retellings and intertextuality, thus casting the very act of translation as a form of deconstruction. This heady point of departure seems apt in that the contents of the book (all in Castilian) are highly mixed. The basis is the editor's specialization in translation studies and bibliography, particularly of modern Arthurian works in Spanish languages.

In fact, the range of Zarandona's own multiple contributions exemplifies the eclecticism of these proceedings from a 2002 conference at his home institution, the Universidad de Valladolid. And though the book offers a topical potpourri, readers may find the unusual number of typos distracting. All contributors, with the exceptions of the aforementioned Rodríguez Velasco and also translator Jon Kortazar from the University of the Basque Country, are affiliated with Valladolid.

The lead article, Roberto Ruíz Capellán's eloquent reading of exile from the (feminine) homeland in the Tristan stories, could be considered almost too comprehensive. Fastidious thesis proofs take the author far afield, from archetypal motifs to biblical and classical texts, though all becomes integrated in addressing a powerfully evocative phenomenon. Focusing on the alienation faced by the hero in his position as court insider yet ultimate outsider and on his essential relationship to the feminine, Ruiz Capellán illuminates Tristan's nature convincingly.

Antonio Regales Serna's essay on the Spanish translation of Wolfram's Parzival and theories of medieval translation begins with a declension of types. Contrasting the Ciceronian approach with the literalist biblical work of Saint Jerome, for example, he then enters the thorny areas of 'free' translation and 're-creation.' Casting the translator/adaptor as a kind of troubadour (a story teller working with a living, changing text), Regales Serna prepares us for a perceptive meditation on such influences as Wolfram's linguistic and cultural background before launching into a lengthy comparison of modern translation theorists. The discussion even extends to medieval esoteric interpretive systems, thus taking the reader from the expected to the more original.

Susana Gil-Albarrellos's article on the Arthurian origins of chivalry begins with a basic survey. Given her early usage of the phrase, 'orígenes de la novela,' her delay in mentioning Menéndez Pelayo seems curious; her citations of important contributors to the Hispanic Arthurian field, however, are well placed. …

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