Anthony Pym


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Attempt at a chronology of Hispanic translation history


1800 Pedro Montengón, an ex-Jesuit who has returned from Italy to Madrid for one year, publishes his translation of pseudo-Ossian's Fingal and Temora in Castilian verse, working from Cesarotti's Italian version. The English "originals" had been written by James Macpherson and announced in 1761 and 1763.

1801 Carlos IV expels the ex-Jesuits.

1801-08(?) José Marchina Ruiz y Cueto (1768-1821), as General Moreau's secretary, publishes a vulgar French song that brings him much criticism. He claims the song is translated from a manuscript of Petronius' Sayricon that he discovered in the library of Saint Gall. Two days later he presents the Latin fragment and many philologists believe him. Marchena then pretends to have discovered forty unknown verses by Catullus, but is this time denounced by Eischtaedth. The pseudotranslator will nevertheless gain a reputation as a great Latinist. He also translates from French and English.

1803 Tomás García Suelto's translation of Corneille's Le Cid is performed with great success. As an afrancesado García Suelto will leave Spain in 1813.

1810-12 The Cortes de Cádiz bring in a democratic constitution that attacks the power of the church and ensures fundamental liberties. All this is forgotten when the king returns in 1813.

1813, June After the battle of Vitoria José Bonaparte returns to France with the Spanish afrancesados, who will eventually number between 10,000 and 12,000.

1814 The reign of Fernando VII is marked by severe censorship of the press.

1814 Juan Nicolás Böhl de Faber, in Cádiz, publishes "Reflexiones de Schlegel sobre el teatro, traducidas del alemán".

1814 The pope readmits the Jesuits.

1814-16 Emigration of the Spanish liberals escaping from Fernando VII's absolutism.

1816 Pedro Bazán de Mendoza, an afrancesado, publishes in Alais his translation of Voltaire's Henriade.

1817 Luis Folgueras Sión translates Juvenal's Satires: "le he depurado y expurgado de quanto pudiese ser ofensivo á la decencia y delicadeza de las costumbres cristianas".

1820 Francisco Javier de Burgos, an afrancesado, publishes his translation of Horace, in which the text is made more noble and acceptable through omissions and substitutions. The translation has been carried out during Burgos's four years in France, where he was a successful businessman. During the liberal "trienio" from 1820 to 1823 he is editor of the Madrid periodical El Imparcial, which publishes most of the afrancesados then in Spain.

1820 Pedro Montengón, an ex-Jesuit, translates six tragedies by Sophocles, published in Naples. Menéndez Pelayo will describe these as not translations "sino engendros originales suyos sobre los argumentos de Agamenón y Electra".

1820 A general amnesty allows the afrancesados to return.

1821 Antonio Ranz Romanillos translates Plutarch's Vidas paralelas.

1823 A French army under the Duke of Angouleme invades Spain and restores absolute monarchy.

1823 The liberal Romantics emigrate to England, France and the Americas. Between 1824 an 1828 London becomes the intellectual centre of the Spanish language thanks to the German publisher Rudolph Ackermann, who distributes original works and translations throughout Spanish America, including the series Catecismos, mainly of scientific vulgarisation, and small literary anthologies called No me olvides. Many of the liberals will return to Spain in the course of the 1830s.

1825 José Joaquín de Mora, in London, translates two novels by Walter Scott into Castilian directly from English. Other Spanish liberals in London write novels directly in English.

1826 Torres Amat publishes his translation of the Bible, begun in 1808.

1826 Juan María Maury, an afrancesado in Paris, publishes Espagne poétique, a bilingual anthology of Castilian poetry from the 16th to the 19th century. He has done the French translations himself. The work is praised by Blanco White and Larra, the latter claiming that Maury had "broken the old chains of French verse".

1826-27 Carlist wars.

1827-33 Espronceda lives in exile in Lisbon, Brussels, Paris and Bordeaux.

1828 Beginnings in Madrid of El Correo Literario, Spain's first literary periodical.

1829 Francisco de Paula Martínez de la Rosa publishes in Paris his translation Epístola de G. Horacio Flaco a los Pisones sobre el Arte Poética.

1830 Castillo y Ayensa publish Anacreon, Tirteo and Sappho in Greek with twin translations in verse and prose, plus commentary.

1830 Martínez de la Rosa publishes in Paris a French-Castilian bilingual edition of his historical drama Aben Humeya o la rebelión de los moriscos. He claims to have written it in French and translated into Castilian. The French version, Aben Hamet, is performed in Paris a few days before the July Revolution. He returns to Spain in 1831.

1830 After the July Revolution most of the Spanish liberals exiled in London go to France.

1831 José Gómez Hermosilla, an afrancesado who has returned to Spain after a few years abroad, publishes his translation of the Iliad in free endecasyllables.

1831 First Castilian translation of Diderot.

1834-44 The entry of Romanticism into Spain. An increase in translations due to a softening of censorship following a decree signed by the liberal Javier de Burgos.

1835 Foundation of the Ateneo of Madrid.

1836 Mariano José de Larra declares that the correct translation of comedies from French "es buscar el equivalente, no de palabras, sino de las situaciones" adopting "las costumbres del país a que se traduce".

1838 García Vallalta translates Macbeth directly from English. It is staged and is not a success.

1839 End of the first Carlist war, which had begun in 1833. Some 8,000 Carlists emigrate.

1840 Ramón de Mesionero Romanis declares that "nuestro país, en otro tiempo tan original, no es en el día otra cosa que una nación traducida", mostly from French.

1843 Isabel II is declared queeen. Power will be in the hands of General Narváez until 1854.

1843 Julián Sanz del Río studies in Heidelberg under the disciples of K.C.F. Krause, who died eleven years previously.

1848 First railway in Barcelona.

1849 Publication of La gaviota by Fernán Caballero (Cecilia Böhl de Faber). The original was written in French and translated into Castilian by José Joaquín de (?) Mora.

1851 First railway in Madrid.

1855 Spain's first general strike takes place in Barcelona.

1857 Julián Sanz del Río, in Madrid, publicly presents krausismo, a liberal-rationalist philosophy combining populist elements with intellectual elitism.

1859-60 First colonial war in Morroco.

1862 General Prim fights in Mexico. Spanish forces also help the French gain possessions in Indochina.

1864-68 Bécquer works as an official censor of novels.

1867 Krausistas are removed from their chairs.

1867 Uprising against Isabel II. She flees to France.

1868-78 The "guerra larga" in Cuba.

1873 Miguel Antonio Caro publishes the first volume of his translation of Virgil.

1875 Second campaign removing krausistas from their chairs.

1876 The krausistas form the Institución Libre de Enseñanza.

1880-82 Menénez Pelayo, the prime opponent of krausismo, publishes his Historia de los heterodoxos españoles (largely a history of Spanish translators!).

1881 The krausistas are restored to their chairs.

1882 Montes de Oca, Prelate of Mexico, publishes his translations of Pindar.

1883 José J. Herrero translates Heine's Poemas y fantasías.

1885 J.A. Pérez Bonalde translates Heine's El Canionero, published in New York.

1885 Beginning of the system by which political parties would alternate in power.

1886 José Alcalá Galiano translates Byron in verse. Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo's prologue criticizes "los partiarios de las traducciones en prosa (que abundan en España, y no por otra razón, sino porque en España apenas se lee más que en francés, y los franceses, por desgracia grande de su lengua y de su tristísima métrica, no tienen más remedio que traducir en prosa, si quieren ser fieles)".

1889 Bartolomé Mitre publishes his translation of the Divina Commedia in Buenos Aires.

1893-94 Colonial war in Melilla.

1895 Miguel de Unamuno writes En torno al casticismo.

1898 Spain loses its colonies in Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

1899 Maeztu remarks that Spain exports iron to Britain and gets it back as machinery.

1907 Krausistas form the Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios in order to enable Spanish scholars to study abroad.

1910 The Residencia de Estudiantes is established in Madrid, as an instrument of krausista intellectual elitism.

1917 A general strike in Spain.

1919 The Instituto-Escuela is founded in Madrid.

1930 Publication of the Spanish translation of Shakespeares' complete works.

1950 Translations into Catalan are permitted.


... and the rest you'll have to do for yourselves!

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