by Candace Barrington
We’ve just learned of a new translation into Brazilian Portuguese “decassílabos” by José Francisco Botelho. Published last month by Penguin (ISBN 9788563560803), the verse translation is introduced to us via two blog posts. In the first (Da Lancheria do Parque aos maçaricos de Bagé, a epopeia da tradução), Botelho describes how he came to translate The Canterbury Tales; in the second (Chaucer e as metáforas da bebedeira), he explains the difficulties of translating Middle English idioms. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of lines from The Manciple’s Prologue: “‘Therto me thynketh ye been wel yshape! / ‘I trowe that ye dronken han wyn ape, / And that is whan men pleyen with a straw.’ / And with this speche the Cook wax wrooth and wraw” (IX.43-46).
I’m curious to learn how the translation fits the tales to Brazilian culture. Judging by the cover’s evocation of South American pampas and padres, it might provide some interesting parallels.
Thanks for Krista Brune (Berkeley), a fellow traveler at this summer’s NEH Centrality of Translation Institute, for this terrific lead!