A Spanish Version of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. Book Authored.
KeywordsGeoffrey Chaucer (d. 1400). Troilus and Criseyde -- Translations into Spanish
English Language and Literature
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AbstractA vivid translation of Chaucer’s most ambitious poem, this work renders anew the classic tale of courtly true love. There are some aspects of this love poem that may seem strange to the reader who comes to Troilus and Criseyde after the Canterbury Tales. In the latter, it is impressive the sheer range of characters and the extent to which their humanity has remained by the passing of time. In Troilus, however, the range of characters is much smaller; only four have really developed parts: the lovers of the title, their go-between Pandarus, and Diomede. Furthermore, these characters operate within a very limited social orbit: this is a romance of high society. The modern reader may find compelling the rarefied nature of the central love affair, which is governed by the code of Courtly Love. Chaucer himself was conscious of this difficulty and anticipates (in the proem of his second book) the readers’ impatience by urging his fourteen-century audience not to be put off by the way this hero wins his mistress’s love. In the same way we enjoy the extraordinary range and diversity of characters in The Canterbury Tales, in Troilus and Criseyde we enjoy the more individual psychological analysis of the lovers as an example of a moral lesson. In the context of Chaucer’s work as a whole, Troilus and Criseyde is by far the most ambitious poem. It is the only truly major work the he carried through to the end with a solid, satisfactory shape. The symmetry of its five-book structure adds dynamism to the final pattern, and offers a deep understanding of the characters development. At the beginning Troilus scoffs at love from a partial perspective of an unreal superiority; at the end (after death) he recognizes a true view of the matter, a more general perspective of human love per se, which he rejects in favor of God love. Following textual traditions, seven centuries later Troilus and Criseyde is presented here as a parallel text with its translation into Spanish. Núñez’s articulated translation of Troilus and Criseyde illuminates the medieval English version for a Spanish speaking audience. Indeed, one of the merits of this book is its pioneering enterprise of being the first bilingual modern parallel translation of the whole poem of Troilus with a total of five books and 8,235 lines. Núñez’s textual analysis serves to direct new attention to both a classic English literature master piece and its implications in the consolidation of the English language. Her study is doubly valuable because it brings back Chaucer’s elaborate poem and provides its exposure to a Spanish speaking reader.