Streams

Translating Celestina

Friday, April 16, 2010

Peter Bush discusses his new translation of Celestina, by Fernando Rojas, the lively Spanish tragicomedy considered to be the first European novel. Published in 1499 and became Spain's first-ever bestseller, and Fernando de Rojas's mix of street wit, obscenity, and culture paved the way for Cervantes.

Guests:

Peter Bush
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Comments [2]

Connie from Westchester

As a child, I was a neighbor of a very scholarly woman who was a staff member at the Hispanic Society of America at 155th street and Broadway in Manhattan. She know that I was studying Spanish and she gave me a copy of "Celestina". Alas, I never read it. Your interview really made me aware of it again. Now, I want to read it and will do so in the new translation. Thank you.

Apr. 19 2010 03:26 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I can confirm that Spanish changed less than English--I majored in Spanish & found it noticeably easier to understand the 12th-century "El Cid" knowing modern Spanish than to understand Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," written over 2 centuries later, as a native speaker of modern English (reading both in original versions).

By the way, I think it was Rojas' son-in-law who successfully used his relationship to Rojas as a defense in an Inquisition trial, although it might have been a different relative.

Apr. 16 2010 01:31 PM

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