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Reading  Amadís  in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production David Wacks University of Oregon MLA 2012...
Diaspora(s) Sefarad Ottoman Zion
The cultural work of translation in diaspora <ul><li>What are the unique characteristics/functions of translation in diasp...
Amadís de Gaula <ul><li>Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo (Zaragoza 1508) </li></ul><ul><li>Iberian adaptation of Arthurian roma...
Hebrew translation of  Amadís de Gaula <ul><li>Jacob Algaba (Constantinople 1541) </li></ul><ul><li>1 st  book of  Amadís ...
Hebrew secular prose editions <ul><li>Isaac ibn Sahula,  Meshal Haqadmoni  1497 </li></ul><ul><li>Vidal Benvenist,  Melits...
Hebrew editions of secular prose translations <ul><li>Jacob Algaba,  Amadís de Gaula  1541 </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Hakohe...
Diasporic cultural production <ul><li>Khachig Tölölyan:  “Turning and re-turning” </li></ul><ul><li>Jonathan Boyarin:  “ec...
Packaging Sephardic culture <ul><li>Sephardic culture for wider diasporic audience </li></ul><ul><li>inter-community commu...
Audience? <ul><li>Sefaradim themselves would not need translation </li></ul><ul><li>Romaniote Jews (Minna Rozen) </li></ul...
What does the text do? <ul><li>Literary system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridges historiography and fiction </li></ul></ul><ul...
First novel in Hebrew <ul><li>&quot;there is no truth in the claim that it was the Jews of Ashkenaz that brought European ...
First novel in Hebrew <ul><li>“ It was the first time that long, detailed stories of the battles of knights, chivalry and ...
What does the work  do ? <ul><li>De-christianize </li></ul><ul><li>“ Judaize” </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt courtly/chivalric co...
De-christianize <ul><li>“ ¡Sancta María! ” </li></ul><ul><li>Holy Mary! </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; חיי אדוני המלך !!&quot; <...
De-christianize <ul><li>“ un hermitaño que curará de mi alma ” </li></ul><ul><li>A monk who will tend to my soul  (ie conf...
De-christianize <ul><li>“ y mandóla quemar ”   </li></ul><ul><li>and he ordered that she be burnt [to death] </li></ul><ul...
Judaize <ul><li>Almost completely free of Biblical and Rabbinical allusions </li></ul><ul><li>Stands apart from other Sonc...
Judaize <ul><li>“ que le oviesese memoria ” </li></ul><ul><li>That he remember him </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; שלא ישכחו בתפי...
Judaize <ul><li>“ diole el Donzel del Mar en descubierto en la pierna izquierda tal herida…” </li></ul><ul><li>The Knight ...
&quot; במקום צומת הגידין &quot; cf.  Shulkhan Arukh, Yoreh De ’ah , 55:1
Conventions of courtly romance <ul><li>“ Guirnalda ” </li></ul><ul><li>garland </li></ul><ul><li>עטרה crown </li></ul>
Courtly language <ul><li>“ Muerto soy de corazón ” </li></ul><ul><li>My [broken] heart has killed me!  </li></ul><ul><li>&...
Courtly language <ul><li>“ quiero que me digáis quién es y amarla he ”   </li></ul><ul><li>I want you to tell me who she i...
De-christianize / Adapt courtly love <ul><li>“ mi juizio no puede resistir aquellos mortales deseos de quien cruelmente es...
Conclusions <ul><li>Mediate between Zion-Sefarad-Ottoman </li></ul><ul><li>Position Sephardic culture in Ottoman Jewish co...
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Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production

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

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Reading Amadís in Constantinople: Translation as Diasporic Cultural Production

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

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