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Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production
 

Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production

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Slides from presentation at 2012 Modern Language Association, Sephardic Studies Panel

Slides from presentation at 2012 Modern Language Association, Sephardic Studies Panel

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    Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production Presentation Transcript

    • Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production David Wacks University of Oregon MLA 2012 http://davidwacks.uoregon.edu
    • Diaspora(s) Sefarad Ottoman Zion
    • The cultural work of translation in diaspora
      • What are the unique characteristics/functions of translation in diaspora?
      • How does the work mediate between the diasporic communities and their cultures?
    • Amadís de Gaula
      • Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo (Zaragoza 1508)
      • Iberian adaptation of Arthurian romance (12 th c, Chrétien de Troyes)
      • First chivalric novel published in Spain
      • Numerous translations: Hebrew 1541, French 1544, Italian, English, German, etc
      • Lampooned by Cervantes in Don Quijote
    • Hebrew translation of Amadís de Gaula
      • Jacob Algaba (Constantinople 1541)
      • 1 st book of Amadís (of 4 books)
      • First novel in Hebrew (Joseph Dan 1977)
    • Hebrew secular prose editions
      • Isaac ibn Sahula, Meshal Haqadmoni 1497
      • Vidal Benvenist, Melitsat ‘Efer ve-Dina 1521
      • Emmanuel Ha-Romi, Mahbarot 1535
      • Judah al-Harizi, Tahkemoni 1540
      • Judah Ibn Shabbetay, Minhat Yehudah 1543
      • Jacob Algaba, Amadís de Gaula 1541
    • Hebrew editions of secular prose translations
      • Jacob Algaba, Amadís de Gaula 1541
      • Joseph Hakohen, Sefer ha-Indi ’ah ha-hadashah ; ve-Sefer Fernando Qortes 1568
    • Diasporic cultural production
      • Khachig Tölölyan: “Turning and re-turning”
      • Jonathan Boyarin: “echoing back and forth”
      • Mediate between culture of homeland ( ‘Zion’) and culture of hostlands (Spain, Ottoman Empire)
      • Dialogue between different diasporic communities
        • Geography
        • Time (manuscript to print)
    • Packaging Sephardic culture
      • Sephardic culture for wider diasporic audience
      • inter-community communication
      • Converts Sephardic prestige into common currency (print culture)
    • Audience?
      • Sefaradim themselves would not need translation
      • Romaniote Jews (Minna Rozen)
      • Ottoman Jews beyond Constantinople (Avraham Ya ’ari)
      • Buyers of Hebrew books like al-Harizi, et al
    • What does the text do?
      • Literary system
        • Bridges historiography and fiction
        • (European) Novel
        • Chivalry
      • Text
        • De-christianize
        • Judaize
        • Mediate conventions of chivalry/courtliness
    • First novel in Hebrew
      • "there is no truth in the claim that it was the Jews of Ashkenaz that brought European culture to the tents of Israel”
      • Dan, Joseph. “The First Hebrew Novel: Jacob Algabe’s Amadis of Gaul .” Moznayim 45 (1977): 181-188.
    • First novel in Hebrew
      • “ It was the first time that long, detailed stories of the battles of knights, chivalry and love, friendship and long-standing enmity with evil wizards and powerful giants appeared in print in Hebrew.”
      • Dan, Joseph. “The First Hebrew Novel: Jacob Algabe’s Amadis of Gaul .” Moznayim 45 (1977): 181-188. Print.
    • What does the work do ?
      • De-christianize
      • “ Judaize”
      • Adapt courtly/chivalric conventions
    • De-christianize
      • “ ¡Sancta María! ”
      • Holy Mary!
      • " חיי אדוני המלך !!"
      • Long live my Lord the King!
      Oaths:
    • De-christianize
      • “ un hermitaño que curará de mi alma ”
      • A monk who will tend to my soul (ie confession)
      • " שום איש לרפאיני "
      • Some (any) man who might cure me
      Mortally wounded knight seeks help:
    • De-christianize
      • “ y mandóla quemar ”
      • and he ordered that she be burnt [to death]
      • " יושמטוה ממגדל גבוה "
      • So they dropped her from a tall tower
      Punishment for traitorous woman:
    • Judaize
      • Almost completely free of Biblical and Rabbinical allusions
      • Stands apart from other Soncino editions (Judah al-Harizi, Judah Ibn Shabbetay, etc)
    • Judaize
      • “ que le oviesese memoria ”
      • That he remember him
      • " שלא ישכחו בתפילותיו "
      • Asks that he not be forgotten in his prayers
      Hermit bids Galaor farewell, asks
    • Judaize
      • “ diole el Donzel del Mar en descubierto en la pierna izquierda tal herida…”
      • The Knight of the Sea dealt him such a blow on his unprotected left leg…
      • " ויך אותו על יריכו השמאלית במקום צומת הגידין "
      • Then he attacked him on his left thigh in the place where the tendons cross
      A serious thigh wound dealt by Amadís to his enemy
    • " במקום צומת הגידין " cf. Shulkhan Arukh, Yoreh De ’ah , 55:1
    • Conventions of courtly romance
      • “ Guirnalda ”
      • garland
      • עטרה crown
    • Courtly language
      • “ Muerto soy de corazón ”
      • My [broken] heart has killed me!
      • " מה אנוכי , שנטרף לבי "
      • Woe is me, for my heart is rent asunder!
    • Courtly language
      • “ quiero que me digáis quién es y amarla he ”
      • I want you to tell me who she is, and I will love her (i.e. Instead of you)
      • " הגד נא לי מי הנשקפה - כמו - שחר ואהוב אותה "
      • Prithee tell me who is she who appears like the dawn (Song of Songs 6:1) and I will love her
      Knight challenges Amadís ’ love for Oriana:
    • De-christianize / Adapt courtly love
      • “ mi juizio no puede resistir aquellos mortales deseos de quien cruelmente es atormentado ”
      • My judgment cannot resist those mortal desires by which is it is cruelly tormented
      • " להתרחק מחשבה הזאת , כי לבי תפוש ואסור בכבלי ברזל "
      • [it is impossible] “ To distance myself from that thought, for my heart is bound and tied in iron chains ”
    • Conclusions
      • Mediate between Zion-Sefarad-Ottoman
      • Position Sephardic culture in Ottoman Jewish context
      • Introduce European novel to Hebrew audience