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Reviews293 Miguel Prendes, Sol. El espejo y el piélago. La «Eneida» castellana de Enrique de Villena. Kassel: Edition Reichenberger, 1998. 306pages. ISBN: 3-931887-49-2 Enrique de Villena can be considered a convenient exemplum of the prophet without honour in his own land (Matt. 8.57). In the encyclopedic Glosas to his translation of the first three books of the Aeneid he sets himself up as a crusading advocate for social, cultural and political reform, yet his monumental exegetical exercise seems to have had but limited circulation, and even less influence, in his own day. In spite ofa flurry ofantiquarian interest in Villena's work in the eighteenth century, the translation and Glosas remained in manuscript until the last quarter of the twentieth. Ramón Santiago Lacuesta gave us a rigorous edition of Books 1-3 of the Eneida (though without the Glosas) in 1979; ten years later, Pedro Cátedra published his edition of Books 1 and 2 (with the Glosas), and it was not until 1994 that the first two volumes of Cátedra's edition ofVillena's Obras completas (which include the Glosas to Book 3) made their appearance. Sol Miguel Prendes's study ofLa «Eneida» castellana de Enrique de Villena is the first to take advantage of the greater accessibility that Villena's text has acquired, thanks in large measure to Pedro Cátedra's painstaking editorial work. As Miguel Prendes admits, her book was motivated "en respuesta a la cuestión de si los estudios sobre Villena se hallan agotados- ¿no lo ha dicho ya todo Pedro Cátedra?" (16). The result clearly demonstrates that he has not; but neither, for that matter, has anyone else. The book deals principally with the Glosas (rather than with the translation per se) which serve as a manual of instruction for the nobility, whom the reading and imitation of the classics would prepare, under Villena's guidance, to act for the betterment of la cosa pública. Miguel Prendes reminds us that this pragmatic intent situates the Glosas quite firmly within that fifteenth-century Castilian cultural phenomenon which Jeremy Lawrance has termed "vernacular humanism", and in which one can perceive possible echoes of Italian discussions ofcivic issues. The question ofVillena's humanism (or lack thereof) remains peripheral to the main thrust of Miguel Prendes's study, however. Its purpose is to examine the Glosas as an act of literary re-creation and creation in themselves, and to "enmarcar la obra villenesca dentro del proceso de revalorización que durante los últimos años ha experimentado la exegesis medieval entre la crítica de habla inglesa" (7). The crides in question areJudson B. Allen (The Friar as Critic: Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages, 1971), Alastair Minnis (Medieval Theory ofAuthorship, 1984), and Rita Copeland La corónica 30.1 (Fall, 2001): 293-306 294ReviewsLa corónica 30.1, 2001 (Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and Translation in the Middle Ages: Academic Traditions and Vernacular Texts, 1991). As Miguel Prendes points out, en tales estudios se ha abierto el camino a la comprensión de las traducciones vernáculas como peculiar práctica exégetica [sic] que, sirviéndose de las estrategias textuales de lectura y comentario escolástico, tratan de insertarse en la esfera de la cultura latina para descubrir y justificar su propia labor de creación. Estas pretendidas traducciones van poco a poco afirmándose como obra diferente de los originales que les dan pie, a los cuales terminan por suplantar absorbiendo su autoridad. En ese sentido, las supuestas traducciones no son sino un paso más en la translatio studii. (8) Building on the work of the critics mentioned above, as well as on the contributions made by Pedro Cátedra and Julian Weiss to the specific field of Villena studies, Miguel Prendes divides her book into three substantial chapters . The first ("La exegesis") identifies and analyzes the reading strategies, deriving from the accessus ad auctores employed in the medieval schools, with which Villena explicates and supplants Virgil. The second ("El espejo") takes as its title one of the metaphors Villena applies to his Virgilian commentary. It examines the way in which Don Enrique recreates himselfas...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 293-297
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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