The Hero and Leander Theme in Iberian Literature, 1500-1800: An Anthology of Translations

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The Hero and Leander theme enjoyed tremendous vogue during the Renaissance. This book offers English translations of works by twenty-three writers, including Garcilaso de la Vega, Luis de Camões, Francisco de Quevedo, and Luis de Góngora. The texts were all originally published between 1500 and 1800; most of them were written in Castilian Spanish, but there are also examples from Portuguese, Valencian, and Asturian. The literary forms represented include sonnets, ballads, odes, a prose narrative, a full-length play, and three long pieces of narrative verse. The book includes a critical and historical introduction, brief comments on each author and on the special challenges of each translation, an appendix on treatments of the Hero and Leander theme in other art forms, a substantial bibliography, and an index. It is intended as a resource for students of comparative literature and culture.


“ ... Professor Krummrich’s translation of the Hero and Leander myth, as viewed and revised by Iberian authors, will allow us to read, to review, to encode, or to gloss our metamorphic perception of that story. Musaeus’s unfortunate lovers have captivated English speakers, but it is largely through Christopher Marlowe’s poem and Byron’s re-enactment, his swim across the Hellespont, that we know them. Dr. Krummrich’s workings into English capture the cadence and flow of their peninsular originals ... The goal of this anthology is to be ‘a resource ... for comparative studies.’ Clearly, this objective is achieved, for Dr. Krummrich’s masterful translations allow readers to grasp patterns and ask new questions about the haunting, timeless tale of Hero and Leander ...” – (from the Preface) Professor Katherine C. Kurk, Northern Kentucky University

“Dr. Philip Krummrich’s work is an example of both impressive research and elegant translation. While some are names that will be familiar to those scholars whose work does not focus on Iberian literature (such as Lope de Vega and Luis de Camões), others are lesser known even among specialists in this area, including authors who write in the Asturian dialect and Valencian ... Dr. Krummrich often includes reflections on the particular challenges posed by translating the text at hand. These commentaries are welcome, as they connect readers to the original, and remind us of the difficulties in rendering them in another language. Dr. Krummrich’s tour de force is the translation of Antonio Mira de Amezcua’s Golden Age play. Not only does he skillfully employ different verse forms throughout, in an attempt to be faithful to the variations in the original, but he also explains the significance of each particular type of verse used by the playwright ...” – Professor Melissa A. Stewart, Western Kentucky University

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction
Joan Roiç de CorellaThe Story of Leander and Hero
Juan de Boscán AlmugáverLeander
Francisco Sá de MirandaBetween Sestos and Abydos, at sea
Gracilazo de la VegaSonnet XXIX: As valiant young Leander crossed the sea
Hernando de AcuñaFrom her high tower Hero looked on the sea
Gutierre de Cetina
Leander, who with love was all afire
With that unease love teaches us to feel Juan de ColomaSurrounded by a furious wild sea
Diego Ramírez Pagán
Leander Speaks with Himself
On the Death of Leander
On the Death of Hero
On the Tomb of Hero and Leander on the Shores of the Sea
Luis Vaz de CamõesSonnet 195: Chasing the distant flame that was his guide
AnonymousHero, from that high tower whence she looked down
Luis de Góngora y Argote
Though I can’t read a lot of Greek
The youngster threw himself into
Lope de VegaTo see if it might be quenched and suppressed
Hipólita de NarváezWith noble goal Leander breaks, with strain
Diego de Silva y MendozaBeaten, Leander drinks full desperately
Antonio Mira de AmezcuaHero and Leander
Francisco de Quevedo
Fleet made all of the sparks and every ray
A feeble little light did survive
Hero and Leander in Diapers
Francisco López de ZárateWhen the bright sun in shadow went to hide
Alonso Jerónimo de Salas BarbadilloHero and Leander, both abused ...
Juan de Valdéz y MeléndezWatching the light, made by the light more blind
Antón de MarirregueraThe Fable of Hero and Leander
Gabriel de Bocángel y UnzuetaLeander, and Hero: A Heroic Poem
Nicolás Fernández de MoratínBoth ship and pirate of truest love-joys
Manuel Maria Barbosa du BocageOn the Death of Leander and Hero

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