Gower Bibliography

Dum Poema inglês de John Gower e da sua tradução do português para o castelhano.

Martins, Mário, S. J. "Dum Poema inglês de John Gower e da sua tradução do português para o castelhano." Didaskalia 9 (1979), pp. 413-432. ISSN 0253-1674


The article opens with a reference to Phillippa of Lancaster, who took the Paynes with her from England to Portugal, and a description of the Payne coat of arms. Further information is to be found in a declaration made by King John III in 1535, concerning a petition by one Christovão Pinto de Paym, and it offers some details of the Payne line of descent: "Christovão was the legitimate son of Ruy Lopez Paym and grandson of Isabell Paym, legitimate daughter of Valentym Paym, noble of the household of King John I, who came to England with the Queen Felipa d'Alemcastro...." It is known that Tomalim Paym was acoompanied by his brother Roberto, a member of Queen Phillippa's household, according to a document dated 1402 which mentions Ruberte Paym. It was this man who translated John Gower's Confession Amantis into Portuguese, an undertaking already completed when King Edward was putting the finishing touches on his own composition, the Leal Conselhiero. In his prologue Edward states that he always names his source material, as John Gower has done in the CA, the Portuguese version of which figures in the list of the King's books under the title of "O Amante" (The Lover). This was his own, personal copy, not a borrowed one. Unfortunately, the Portuguese version made by Roberto Paym has disappeared, and we must make do with the Medieval Castilian version based on the Portuguese one. The Castilian CA is preceded by the following lines: "This book is called confession of the lover which was composed by Juan Goer native of the Kingdom of England. And it was rendered in the Portuguese language by Roberto Paim, native of the said Kingdom and canon of the city of Lisbon. And afterwards it was turned into the Castilian language by Juan de Cuenca neighbor of the city of Huete." How did the Portuguese version of this work fall into the hands of Juan de Cuenca? One explanation is that the Queen, Dona Leonor, or someone of her household, took the manuscript from King Edward's library to Spain. Naturally, the Queen, in conflict with her brother-in-law and co-Regent, Prince Pedro, had more important issues on her mind. But this was not necessarily true of some clergyman of her entourage, a Spaniard who was familiar with Portuguese, perhaps Juan de Cuenca himself. Roberto Paim took as his text for translation the first version, and there is no reason to believe that it contained any serious errors. The random selection of two extracts for comparison, those dealing with the legend of Alceone and Caix (Alceone and Ceix, in the Castilian), show that the translation is sure, neither too verbose, nor with any major omissions. Certain phrases and expressions do take on a particular Hispanic flavour, in the Castilian translation, however. For example, the oath "be seint Julien" becomes "by St. James" in the Castilian: "jurovos por Santiago." The remainder of the article is given over to background discussion of Gower's life, the versions of the CA, and the poem's various moral purposes: there is also a resume of the eight books of the CA. Singled out for special attention are the first ten chapters, where Gower paints a black picture of the religious and social situation in England and elsewhere; the allegorical framework of the CA and many of the legends and tales are recounted under the heading of one or the other of the Seven Capital Sins. [Pat Odber. Copyright the John Gower Society. JGN 2.2]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Facsimiles, Editions, and Translations
Confessio Amantis

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