Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Translating an Oriental Frame Tale and its Translator in Hapsburg Spain: The Prefaces to the Espejo político y moral (1654, 1659)

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2020), 97, (7), 699–714.

Abstract

In comparison with earlier, medieval translations of Kalila wa-Dimna, such as the well-known Calila e Dimna (1251) or the Exemplario contra los engaños y peligros del mundo (1483), the version composed by Vicente Bratutti from a sixteenth-century Turkish source, the Espejo político y moral para príncipes y ministros y de todo género de personas (1654, 1659), has been the focus of much less scholarship. Yet, as I will argue, it is worthy of critical attention, above all for the ideological richness of the prefaces written by the translator and censors, which provide differing and often contrasting perspectives on both this famous Eastern work and Spain’s position in the world and relations with other powers. This article examines how the fables were framed by Bratutti and the censors for new audiences, and how their relevance for the Spanish monarchy was justified. It considers the representation of translatio studii et imperii; and it looks at how its Ragusan translator was himself ‘translated’ by the Inquisition’s censors for seventeenth-century Spanish audiences.

En comparación con las traducciones españolas medievales del Kalila wa-Dimna, como la bien conocida Calila e Dimna (1251) o el Exemplario contra los engaños y peligros del mundo (1493), la versión que hizo Vicente Bratutti, a partir de una traducción turca del siglo XVI, y que se publicó en dos volúmenes bajo el título del Espejo político y moral para príncipes y ministros y de todo género de personas (1654, 1659), no ha despertado el interés de los críticos. Sin embargo, y como pretendo demostrar aquí, esta tardía versión española merece un estudio más profundo, sobre todo por la riqueza de sus prefacios que ofrecen unas perspectivas encontradas tanto sobre este famoso libro oriental como acerca de la posición de España en el mundo en la segunda mitad del siglo XVII y su relación con otros poderes. Este artículo analiza cómo los censores y Bratutti presentan estas fábulas para un nuevo público y cómo justifican su interés para la monarquía española. Examina cómo se representan las relaciones interculturales y el proceso de translatio studii et imperii, además de considerar la manera en que el mismo traductor Raguseo fue ‘traducido’ por los censores inquisitoriales.

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Works cited

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Álvarez, Román, and M. Carmen-África Vidal (eds), 1996. Translation, Power, Subversion (Bristol: Multilingual Matters). Google Scholar

Álvarez-Junco, José, 2014. Spanish Identity in the Age of Nations (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Google Scholar

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Cáceres-Würsig, Ingrid, 2004. ‘Breve historia de la secretaría de interpretación de lenguas’, Meta: journal des traducteurs 49.3: 609-628. doi.org/10.7202/009381ar. Google Scholar

Cacho Blecua, Juan Manuel, and María Jesús Lacarra (eds), 1984. Calila e Dimna (Madrid: Castalia). Google Scholar

Covarrubias Horozco, Sebastián, 2006. Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española, ed. Ignacio Arellano and Rafael Zafra (Pamplona: Universidad de Navarra/ Madrid: Iberoamericana/ Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert). Google Scholar

Cziráki, Zsuzsanna, 2016. ‘Language Students and Interpreters at the Mid-seventeenth-century Hapsburg Embassy in Constantinople’, Theatrum historiae 19: 27-44. Google Scholar

De Blois, François, 1990. Burzōy’s Voyage to India and the Origin of the Book of Kalīlah wa Dimnah (London: Royal Asiatic Society). Google Scholar

De Blois, François, 1991. ‘The Pancatantra: From India to the West - And Back’, in A Mirror for Princes from India: Illustrated Versions of the Kalilah waDimnah, Anvar-i Suhayli, Iyar-i Danish and Humayun Nameh, ed. Ernst J. Grube (Bombay: Marg Publications), pp. 10-15. Google Scholar

De los Reyes Gómez, Fermín, 2010. ‘La estructura formal del libro antiguo español’, Paratesto 7.7: 1000-51. Google Scholar

Elliott, J. H., 1961. ‘The Decline of Spain’, Past & Present 20: 52-75. Google Scholar

Elliott, J. H., 2002. Imperial Spain: 1469-1716. 4th ed. (London: Penguin). Google Scholar

Faroqhi, Suraiya, Bruce McGowan, Donald Quataert and Şevket Pamuk (eds), 1997. An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, vol. 2, 1600-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Google Scholar

Freedman, Paul, 2012. ‘Locating the Exotic’, in Locating the Middle Ages: The Spaces and Places of Medieval Culture, ed. Julian Weiss and Sarah Salih (London: King’s College London Medieval Studies), pp. 23-37. Google Scholar

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García-Arenal, Mercedes, and Fernando Rodríguez Mediano, 2017. ‘Sacred History, Sacred Languages: The Question of Arabic in Early Modern Spain’, in The Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Early Modern Europe, ed. Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett (Leiden: Brill). Google Scholar

Gilbert, Claire, 2014. ‘The Politics of Language in the Western Mediterranean c.1492-c.1669: Multilingual Institutions and the Status of Arabic in Early Modern Spain’, Doctoral thesis, UCLA. escholarship.org/uc/item/8w39b8gf. Accessed 3 July 2020. Google Scholar

Hampton, Timothy, 2009. Fictions of Embassy: Literature and Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Google Scholar

Haro Cortés, Marta (ed), 2007. Exemplario contra los engaños y peligros del mundo (Valencia: Universitat de Vàlencia). Google Scholar

Harris, Robin, 2006. Dubrovnik: A History (London: Saqi Books). Google Scholar

Hermans, Theo, 1985. ‘Images of Translation: Metaphors and Imagery in the Renaissance Discourse on Translation’, in The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation, ed. Theo Hermans (London: Croom Helm), pp. 103-35. Google Scholar

Kamen, Henry, 1978. ‘The Decline of Spain: A Historical Myth?’, Past & Present 81: 24-50. Google Scholar

Kamen, Henry, 2014. Spain, 1469-1714: A Society of Conflict (London: Routledge). Google Scholar

Lacarra, María Jesús. 2006. ‘El Calila en España: tres encuentros con los lectores’, in Ficciones en la ficción. Poéticas de la narración inserta (siglos XV-XVII), ed. María Jesús Lacarra and Juan Paredes (Granada: Fundación euroárabe), pp. 129-45. Google Scholar

Meschonnic, Henri, 2007. Ethiques et les politiques de traduction (Paris: Éditions Verdier). Google Scholar

Montiel, Isidoro. 1975. Historia y bibliografía del ‘Libro de Calila y Dimna’ (Madrid: Editora Nacional). Google Scholar

Murphy, Fr. Frederick J., 2003. Breviary Lives of the Saints: September - January: Latin Selections with Commentary and a Vocabulary (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock). Google Scholar

Patrick, Robey Clark, 2015. ‘Translating Arabic Wisdom in the Court of Alfonso X, El Sabio’. Doctoral thesis, Ohio State University. rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1437752716. Accessed 3 June 2020. Google Scholar

Pérez Fernández, José María, 2012. ‘Andrés Laguna: Translation and the Early Modern Idea of Europe’, Translation and Literature 21.3: 299-318. Google Scholar

Pérez Fernández, José María, 2019. ‘Translation and Communication: War and Peace by Other Means’, in Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World, ed. Tracey A. Sowerby and Joanna Craigwood (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 87-100. Google Scholar

Roland, Ruth A. 1999. Interpreters as Diplomats: A Diplomatic History of the Role of Interpreters in World Politics (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press). Google Scholar

Rothman, E. Natalie, 2011. Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Google Scholar

Rothman, E. Natalie, 2013. ‘Dragomans and “Turkish Literature”: The Making of a Field of Inquiry’, Oriente Moderno 93: 390-421. Google Scholar

Safa Gürkan, Emrah, 2015. ‘Mediating Boundaries: Mediterranean Go-Betweens and Cross-Confessional Diplomacy in Constantinople, 1560-1600’, Journal of Early Modern History 19.2-3: 107-28. Google Scholar

Sims, Eleanor, 1991. ‘16th-Century Persian and Turkish Manuscripts of Animal Fables in Persia, Transoxiana, and Ottoman Turkey’, in A Mirror for Princes from India: Illustrated Versions of the Kalilah waDimnah, Anvar-i Suhayli, Iyar-i Danish and Humayun Nameh, ed. Ernst J. Grube (Bombay: Marg Publications), pp. 98-123. Google Scholar

Sowerby, Tracey A., and Joanna Craigwood (eds), 2019. Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Stahulkal, Zrinka, 2012. ‘Medieval Fixers: Politics of Interpreting in Western Historiography’, in Rethinking Medieval Translation: Ethics, Politics, Theory, ed. Emma Campbell and Robert Mills (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer), pp. 147-63. www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt1x73qw.13. Accessed 13 December 2018. Google Scholar

Šundrica Zdravko, 2000. ‘Poisons and Poisoning in the Republic of Dubrovnik’, Dubrovnik Annals 4: 7-79. Google Scholar

Tymoczko, Maria, and Edwin Gentzler, 2002. Translation and Power (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press). Google Scholar

Van Ruymbeke, Christine, 2016. Kāshefi’s Anvār-e Sohayli: Rewriting Kalīla wa-Dimna in Timurid Herat (Leiden: Brill). Google Scholar

Van Wyke, Ben, 2009. ‘Delectable Bodies and their Clothes: Plato, Nietzsche, and the Translation of Latin America’, Doctoral thesis, Binghampton University. epdf.tips/delectable-bodies-and-their-clothes-plato-nietzsche-and-the-translation-of-latin.html. Accessed 3 June 2020. Google Scholar

Venuti, Lawrence, 1994. ‘Translation and the Formation of Cultural Identities’, Current Issues in Language and Society 1.3: 201-17. Google Scholar

Woolard, Kathryn A., 2002. ‘Bernardo de Aldrete and the Morisco Problem: A Study in Early Modern Spanish Language Ideology’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 44.3: 446-80. Google Scholar

Woolard, Kathryn A., 2004. ‘Is the Past a Foreign Country?: Time, Language Origins, and the Nation in Early Modern Spain’, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Special Issue: The History of Ideology and the Ideology of History 14.1: 57-80. Google Scholar

Yamamoto-Wilson, John R., 2012. ‘Mabbe’s Maybes: A Stuart Hispanist in Context’, Translation and Literature 21.3: 319-42. Google Scholar

Akbari, Suzanne Conklin, 2009. Idols in the East: European Representations of Islam and the Orient, 1100–1450 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Google Scholar

Álvarez, Román, and M. Carmen-África Vidal (eds), 1996. Translation, Power, Subversion (Bristol: Multilingual Matters). Google Scholar

Álvarez-Junco, José, 2014. Spanish Identity in the Age of Nations (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Google Scholar

Bermann, Sandra, and Michael Wood (eds), 2005. Nation, Language, and the Ethics of Translation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Google Scholar

Bhabha, Homi, 2004. The Location of Culture. 2nd ed. (London: Routledge). Google Scholar

Bratutti, Vicente, 1654. Espejo político, y moral, para principes, y ministros, y todo genero de personas. Traducido de la lengua turca en la castellana. Por Vicente Bratuti raguseo interprete de la lengua turca, de Felipe Quarto el grande rey de las Españas, &c. Parte Primera (Madrid: Domingo Garcia y Morràs). alfama.sim.ucm.es/dioscorides/consulta_libro.asp?ref=B19742897&idioma=0. Accessed 26 May 2020. Google Scholar

Bratutti, Vicente, 1659. Espejo politico, y moral para principes, y ministros y todo genero de personas. Traducido de la lengua turca en la castellana por Vicente Bratuti Raguseo, interprete de la lengua turca, de Felipe IV, el grande, rey de las Españas &c. Segunda parte (Madrid: Josef Fernández de Buendía). alfama.sim.ucm.es/dioscorides/consulta_libro.asp?ref=B1974402X&idioma=0. Accessed 3 June 2020. Google Scholar

Burke, Peter, 2012. ‘Translating the Turks’, in Why Concepts Matter: Translating Social and Political Thought, ed. Martin Burke and Melvin Richter (Leiden: Brill), pp. 141–52. Google Scholar

Cáceres-Würsig, Ingrid, 2004. ‘Breve historia de la secretaría de interpretación de lenguas’, Meta: journal des traducteurs 49.3: 609–628. doi.org/10.7202/009381ar. Google Scholar

Cacho Blecua, Juan Manuel, and María Jesús Lacarra (eds), 1984. Calila e Dimna (Madrid: Castalia). Google Scholar

Covarrubias Horozco, Sebastián, 2006. Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española, ed. Ignacio Arellano and Rafael Zafra (Pamplona: Universidad de Navarra/ Madrid: Iberoamericana/ Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert). Google Scholar

Cziráki, Zsuzsanna, 2016. ‘Language Students and Interpreters at the Mid-seventeenth-century Hapsburg Embassy in Constantinople’, Theatrum historiae 19: 27–44. Google Scholar

De Blois, François, 1990. Burzōy’s Voyage to India and the Origin of the Book of Kalīlah wa Dimnah (London: Royal Asiatic Society). Google Scholar

De Blois, François, 1991. ‘The Pancatantra: From India to the West – And Back’, in A Mirror for Princes from India: Illustrated Versions of the Kalilah waDimnah, Anvar-i Suhayli, Iyar-i Danish and Humayun Nameh, ed. Ernst J. Grube (Bombay: Marg Publications), pp. 10–15. Google Scholar

De los Reyes Gómez, Fermín, 2010. ‘La estructura formal del libro antiguo español’, Paratesto 7.7: 1000–51. Google Scholar

Elliott, J. H., 1961. ‘The Decline of Spain’, Past & Present 20: 52–75. Google Scholar

Elliott, J. H., 2002. Imperial Spain: 1469–1716. 4th ed. (London: Penguin). Google Scholar

Faroqhi, Suraiya, Bruce McGowan, Donald Quataert and Şevket Pamuk (eds), 1997. An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, vol. 2, 1600–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Google Scholar

Freedman, Paul, 2012. ‘Locating the Exotic’, in Locating the Middle Ages: The Spaces and Places of Medieval Culture, ed. Julian Weiss and Sarah Salih (London: King’s College London Medieval Studies), pp. 23–37. Google Scholar

Fuchs, Barbara, 2009. Exotic Nation: Maurophilia and the Construction of Early Modern Spain (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press). Google Scholar

García-Arenal, Mercedes, and Fernando Rodríguez Mediano, 2017. ‘Sacred History, Sacred Languages: The Question of Arabic in Early Modern Spain’, in The Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Early Modern Europe, ed. Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett (Leiden: Brill). Google Scholar

Gilbert, Claire, 2014. ‘The Politics of Language in the Western Mediterranean c.1492–c.1669: Multilingual Institutions and the Status of Arabic in Early Modern Spain’, Doctoral thesis, UCLA. escholarship.org/uc/item/8w39b8gf. Accessed 3 July 2020. Google Scholar

Hampton, Timothy, 2009. Fictions of Embassy: Literature and Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Google Scholar

Haro Cortés, Marta (ed), 2007. Exemplario contra los engaños y peligros del mundo (Valencia: Universitat de Vàlencia). Google Scholar

Harris, Robin, 2006. Dubrovnik: A History (London: Saqi Books). Google Scholar

Hermans, Theo, 1985. ‘Images of Translation: Metaphors and Imagery in the Renaissance Discourse on Translation’, in The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation, ed. Theo Hermans (London: Croom Helm), pp. 103–35. Google Scholar

Kamen, Henry, 1978. ‘The Decline of Spain: A Historical Myth?’, Past & Present 81: 24–50. Google Scholar

Kamen, Henry, 2014. Spain, 1469–1714: A Society of Conflict (London: Routledge). Google Scholar

Lacarra, María Jesús. 2006. ‘El Calila en España: tres encuentros con los lectores’, in Ficciones en la ficción. Poéticas de la narración inserta (siglos XV–XVII), ed. María Jesús Lacarra and Juan Paredes (Granada: Fundación euroárabe), pp. 129–45. Google Scholar

Meschonnic, Henri, 2007. Ethiques et les politiques de traduction (Paris: Éditions Verdier). Google Scholar

Montiel, Isidoro. 1975. Historia y bibliografía del ‘Libro de Calila y Dimna’ (Madrid: Editora Nacional). Google Scholar

Murphy, Fr. Frederick J., 2003. Breviary Lives of the Saints: September – January: Latin Selections with Commentary and a Vocabulary (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock). Google Scholar

Patrick, Robey Clark, 2015. ‘Translating Arabic Wisdom in the Court of Alfonso X, El Sabio’. Doctoral thesis, Ohio State University. rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1437752716. Accessed 3 June 2020. Google Scholar

Pérez Fernández, José María, 2012. ‘Andrés Laguna: Translation and the Early Modern Idea of Europe’, Translation and Literature 21.3: 299–318. Google Scholar

Pérez Fernández, José María, 2019. ‘Translation and Communication: War and Peace by Other Means’, in Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World, ed. Tracey A. Sowerby and Joanna Craigwood (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 87–100. Google Scholar

Roland, Ruth A. 1999. Interpreters as Diplomats: A Diplomatic History of the Role of Interpreters in World Politics (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press). Google Scholar

Rothman, E. Natalie, 2011. Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Google Scholar

Rothman, E. Natalie, 2013. ‘Dragomans and “Turkish Literature”: The Making of a Field of Inquiry’, Oriente Moderno 93: 390–421. Google Scholar

Safa Gürkan, Emrah, 2015. ‘Mediating Boundaries: Mediterranean Go-Betweens and Cross-Confessional Diplomacy in Constantinople, 1560–1600’, Journal of Early Modern History 19.2–3: 107–28. Google Scholar

Sims, Eleanor, 1991. ‘16th-Century Persian and Turkish Manuscripts of Animal Fables in Persia, Transoxiana, and Ottoman Turkey’, in A Mirror for Princes from India: Illustrated Versions of the Kalilah waDimnah, Anvar-i Suhayli, Iyar-i Danish and Humayun Nameh, ed. Ernst J. Grube (Bombay: Marg Publications), pp. 98–123. Google Scholar

Sowerby, Tracey A., and Joanna Craigwood (eds), 2019. Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Stahulkal, Zrinka, 2012. ‘Medieval Fixers: Politics of Interpreting in Western Historiography’, in Rethinking Medieval Translation: Ethics, Politics, Theory, ed. Emma Campbell and Robert Mills (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell & Brewer), pp. 147–63. www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt1x73qw.13. Accessed 13 December 2018. Google Scholar

Šundrica Zdravko, 2000. ‘Poisons and Poisoning in the Republic of Dubrovnik’, Dubrovnik Annals 4: 7–79. Google Scholar

Tymoczko, Maria, and Edwin Gentzler, 2002. Translation and Power (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press). Google Scholar

Van Ruymbeke, Christine, 2016. Kāshefi’s Anvār-e Sohayli: Rewriting Kalīla wa-Dimna in Timurid Herat (Leiden: Brill). Google Scholar

Van Wyke, Ben, 2009. ‘Delectable Bodies and their Clothes: Plato, Nietzsche, and the Translation of Latin America’, Doctoral thesis, Binghampton University. epdf.tips/delectable-bodies-and-their-clothes-plato-nietzsche-and-the-translation-of-latin.html. Accessed 3 June 2020. Google Scholar

Venuti, Lawrence, 1994. ‘Translation and the Formation of Cultural Identities’, Current Issues in Language and Society 1.3: 201–17. Google Scholar

Woolard, Kathryn A., 2002. ‘Bernardo de Aldrete and the Morisco Problem: A Study in Early Modern Spanish Language Ideology’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 44.3: 446–80. Google Scholar

Woolard, Kathryn A., 2004. ‘Is the Past a Foreign Country?: Time, Language Origins, and the Nation in Early Modern Spain’, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Special Issue: The History of Ideology and the Ideology of History 14.1: 57–80. Google Scholar

Yamamoto-Wilson, John R., 2012. ‘Mabbe’s Maybes: A Stuart Hispanist in Context’, Translation and Literature 21.3: 319–42. Google Scholar

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SCOTT, RACHEL