In March 2016, The Hispanic Institute at Columbia University and the Consulate General of Spain invited people from all over the globe to send literal or irreverent translations of the following passage from the prologue to Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares:
[Y]o soy el primero que he novelado en lengua castellana, que las muchas novelas que en ella andan impresas todas son traducidas de lenguas estranjeras, y éstas son mías propias, no imitadas ni hurtadas: mi ingenio las engendró, y las parió mi pluma, y van creciendo en los brazos de la estampa.
The response was overwhelming, perhaps because the selected segment reflects directly on the issue of translation, the question of originality, the problem of the circulation of the written word, and the relationship between literature and technology. But it is more likely that the enthusiasm for this project had deeper causes—Cervantes’s everlasting appeal, the welcoming nature of his prose, and the essentially joyful experience of reading his books.
This experiment confirmed what we already knew: Cervantes did not die 400 years ago. He is here, among us, alive and well.
Last Updated 11 months ago