The Petrarchan Sources of La Celestina

By A. D. Deyermond | Go to book overview

VI
THE STYLISTIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE BORROWINGS

AN extensive knowledge of Petrarch does not necessarily involve the ability to translate him accurately at all times, and it is possible to point to some definite errors committed by Rojas. In the Adelecta exemplum (see pp. 39-40) 'diem mortis tribus versiculis' is mistranslated as 'tres días ante de su fin'. This rendering of a numeral adjective in the ablative as if it qualified a noun in the accusative is paralleled by the reading of an accusative as a nominative in Melibea's list of unnatural murderers:

Nicomedes Prusiam Bithyniae re-
gem: suum patrem consilia licet
necandi filii agitantem vita priva-
vit?
Bursia, rey de Bitinia . . . mató su
propio padre
.1

A more general misunderstanding is shown in the Aemilius Paulus exemplum:

duos [filios] extra familiam in
adoptionem aliis dando ipse sibi
abstulit
. . .
no me satisfaze, que otros dos le quedauan dados en adobción.2
Finally, there is a simple mistranslation of a word, where Rojas
was presumably misled by a formal resemblance:
Non oportet veritatem rerum fictis
adumbrare coloribus.
porque la verdad no es necessario abundar de muchas colores.

A further case seems more likely to be a misreading by the printer of Rojas's manuscript. The index entry 'Amphion arbores et saxa cantu movisse perhibetur' led Rojas to look up the text:

nec fabulam Orphei vel Amphionis
interseram, quorum ille baeluas
Pues, si acaso canta, de mejor gana se paran las aues a le oyr,
____________________
1
See p. 67. This slip is the more remarkable in that Rojas had to overlook
the presence of Nicomedes in the Petrarchan passage. The rendering of Prusias
as Bursia is also interesting.
2
See p. 42. This is noted by Cejador.

-92-

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