read online pdf The Celestina (English Edition) By Fernando De Rojas – Intimatenights.co.uk

The Celestina (English Edition) InChristopher Columbus sailed west and stumbled on an unknown continent that came to be called America Seven years later a book was published in Spain that instantly became a national best seller, running throughthan one hundred editions in the following century It was so popular that, as one well respected scholar has said There could have been no one who was capable of reading who did not read La Celestina It is amusing to imagine that Columbus and his men, after returning to their homeland, very likely read this book or attended public readings of it And that likelihood only increases when we remember that the explorers of the western coast of this New World were avid readers of other Spanish works, and named a large body of land after a fictional region found in another novel of that same time, calling it CaliforniaLa Celestina, published anonymously in , in later editions revealed the author as one Fernando de Rojas, a descendant of Jewish converts to Christianity and student at the University of Salamanca, who tells us that he found the first act and completed the rest of it during fifteen days of vacation from his studies It first appeared with sixteen acts, and later with twenty one, the additional acts being written at the request of the authors friends Rojas finished his studies and became a lawyer in the nearby town of Talavera He married, had several children, eventually became Lord Mayor of the town, and died inTo our knowledge he never wrote another workWritten during the rich flowering of the Renaissance, La Celestina contains not only references to figures of Greek and Roman culture, but also shows the influence of courtly literature Alongside this, and towering over this, is a plot that carries with it tragedy of the type found later in Romeo and Juliet, along with ribald comedy There is, for instance, the hilarious scene where the shy servant, Parmeno, addresses the prostitute, Areusa, with courtly phrases My lady, God keep your charming presence And she replies in the same tone Gentle Sir, I bid you welcome All this just before he hops into bed with her Later the stable boy, Sosia, acts much the same way with this same prostitute that he sees as a very beautiful woman He describes his meeting with her bless me but I was ready to give it to her two or three times Except that I was overcome with shame When she moved around, she gave off a smell of musk perfume, while I stank of the manure I had on my shoes Centurio, the cowardly braggart, explains to the girls the entire repertoire of swordplay seven hundred and seventy types of death that he could use to take revenge on Calisto, and as soon as they leave, he finds a way to do nothing at all And then come the tragic elements that begin with the murder of Celestina, the beheading of Calistos servants, the accidental death of Calisto, and Melibeas speech to her father before she leaps to her own death on the stones belowLa Celestina was almost immediately translated into French, Italian, German, English and Latin The success of this work has continued down to the present day, with new translations appearing in Czech, Croatian, Hebrew, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian and Russian during just one twenty five year period in the twentieth century The present translation, while faithful to the original in every respect, has been rendered into contemporary English in the hope of giving the modern reader the same pleasure as that experienced by the reader of sixteenth century SpainThis edition contains endnotes explaining proverbs and classical figures found interspersed through the text, and is richly illustrated with woodcuts from the editions of Burgos Toledo and Valencia,The cover is from a painting by Francisco de Goya, entitled Maja and Celestina on a Balcony


About the Author: Fernando De Rojas

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