Gower Bibliography

La huella de las 'Sumas de historia troyana' en la 'Confessio Amantis' castellana.

Pascual-Argente, Clara. "La huella de las 'Sumas de historia troyana' en la 'Confessio Amantis' castellana." Revista de Filología Española 95.1 (2015), pp. 127-52. ISSN 0210-9174


This article studies an aspect of the Castilian CA (or "Confisyon del Amante") which, though pointed out by some scholars before, had never been elucidated: the modifications carried out in some classical stories by the Castilian translator, Juan de Cuenca, when rendering the Portuguese version of Gower's poem. Clara Pascual-Argente identifies the source for those changes in the stories of Frixus and Hellen (CA V.4248-4361 ); Ulysses and Thelogonus (CA VI.1391-1788); Hercules and Deianire (CA II, 2157-2307); and Tereus, Progne and Filomena (CA V.5551-6052). Through a systematic and detailed comparison of these stories in the Castilian Ca on the one hand, and in one of the most popular compilations of Trojan narrations in Iberia, the "Sumas de historia troyana," on the other, Pascual-Argente traces the origin of a variety of modifications, like changes in the names of characters, expansions, abbreviations and rewritings in the tales. Although some of these variations do not affect substantially Gower's narratives, in some other cases Juan de Cuenca follows the text of the "Sumas" in order to eliminate imprecisions, particularly causal and spatial imprecisions which he might have thought obscured the circumstances of the action in the original. Pascual-Argente connects Juan de Cuenca's usage of the "Sumas" for his rewriting of the CA with the Castilian political, cultural and literary context of the first half of the fifteenth century. From a political point of view, she explains the relevance of Hercules in connection with the popularity of the hero in Castilian historiographical and literary texts attempting to bestow classical lineage on the monarchy. Pascual-Argente cogently argues that from a literary perspective the modifications intended to fill causal and spatial gaps are the result of the "mise en prose" of the Gowerian poem: the prose style of the "Sumas" is thus a way of enhancing the narrativity of the tales, and making it closer to contemporary classical prose stories. Finally, the author contextualizes Juan de Cuenca's modifications in the atmosphere of fifteenth-century vernacular humanism. Following Cortijo Ocaña, she perceives a generic shift in the "Confisyon," from a "literaturized confession manual" to a tale compilation, more in tune with the tastes for classical material developed by the new reading elites, particularly by courtly nobility with intellectual aspirations. [ASH. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 34.2.]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Facsimiles, Editions, and Translations
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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