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  • By Priscelina Patajo-Legasto
    Aug 10, 2010
    When I first heard about Fadul's translation of Dr. Jose Rizal's El Consejo de los Dioses, I thought that he could have been superfluous in the light of the many English versions of the Philippine national hero's prize-winning play. I belong to that generation that came about at the turn of the 20th century when 24 units of Spanish was still a requirement in College in the Philippine educational system while Fadul belongs to the following generation where the required units was reduced to 12. Although the Americans had already been in the Philippines for many years, the attitudes and perceptions of our time were still largely influenced by the backwash of three hundred thirty-three years of Spanish colonial rule and Roman Catholicism. Therefore, although the thoughts of Rizal were at that time radical, his manner of saying them and what he wanted to say, were closer and more familiar to most of us educated in the Spanish colonial values trapped in our post-colonial generation. I have... More > subsequently read other fine English translations. Somehow I had the uneasy feeling that there was a greater pursuit to depict the colonial thoughts of Rizal's time in the context of the translator's milieu rather than simply to honor Cervantes within the mythology of the Roman gods--a different world in a different time. Indeed translations have to be in tandem with the semantics of the age in in which they are read to be appreciated, but my personal stand is that they should, as much as possible, capture much of the nuances and cadence of the period in which they have been written even at the risk of sounding awkward or stilted. I would imagine that we won't be happy reading a translation of Shakespeare in modern American English, even though it be in the same language. Dr. Fadul has taken the liberty of cutting the long sentences by converting them into more, but shorter ones; and of rearranging some of the adjectives and adverbs to bring them closer to the words they modify. Fadul did a difficult balancing act of adding or cutting words here-and-there but taking care not to enlarge or diminish the original but preserve the cadence of Spanish in the English translation. I saw just two or three forgivable slips in his balancing act. Fadul is aware of the Spanish words that have modern equivalents in English but do not have connotations similar to those endowed them by the Spanish colonial structures then. His annotations explain most of them well. It is my hope that other readers will enjoy reading Fadul's translation with annotations and illustrations with as much pleasure as I had doing it. Priscelina Patajo-Legasto, PhD College of Arts and Letters University of the Philippines-Diliman< Less
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Product Details

Colored Paperback Edition
Lulu Press
August 13, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Full color
0.59 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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