Launch of a new digital edition and translation of Cervantes’s La entretenida
King’s College London is delighted to announce the launch of the digital edition of La entretenida (http://entretenida.outofthewings.org),which takes a bold and innovative approach to the editing of Spanish Golden Age plays.
The digital edition—the result of collaboration between John O’Neill, of the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and a team from the Department of Digital Humanities led by Paul Spence—forms part of a completed doctoral research project entitled 'Cervantes’s La entretenida: Translation, Performance and a Digital Edition', carried out by John O’Neill, under the supervision of Professors Catherine Boyle and Julian Weiss, and nested within Out of the Wings, a major new resource for Spanish and Spanish-American theatre in translation, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. This fully annotated edition also incorporates the first known translation into English, The Diversion, by John O’Neill, which formed the basis of a staged reading, sponsored by the Cultural Office of the Spanish Embassy, in the Old Anatomy Museum at King’s College London in May 2007.
The research has involved translation, theatre practice, and scholarship within the fields of textual criticism, bibliography and digital humanities. Reflecting this experience, this edition is aimed at academics, theatre practitioners and translators alike, and seeks to contribute to dismantling the unhelpful boundaries that have sometimes existed between these different groups.
This edition offers a new perspective on Cervantes as a playwright by providing three different transcribed views of the Spanish text, together with magnificent images of the first edition held by The Codrington Library, All Souls College, Oxford, and by presenting the text in a way that privileges the verse, thus acknowledging the importance of poetic form in Spanish Golden Age drama. The edition also incorporates various indices that help to contextualize the play, as well as features designed to aid theatre practitioners, such as the Performance Information Menu, which lets one quickly access costume, props and stage furniture requirements for each scene, and the Track Character Menu, which makes it possible to track the speeches and movements of individual characters.
John O’Neill commented: ‘Cervantes’s plays have not traditionally been regarded as highly as his prose writings. That, I believe, is partly due to a failure to imagine their performative potential. In order to appreciate the experimental qualities of his theatre we need to see his plays on stage rather than just on the page. This edition seeks to respond to that situation by making the text user-friendly for theatre practitioners and by making La entretenida available to an English-speaking audience for the first time. We hope that the digital model we have designed will help his theatre to come alive.’
Paul Spence added that ‘unlike many digital editions, this edition does not simply aim to transfer a traditional print edition to digital format, but rather explores how digital technology can transform the way that we edit and read classical theatrical texts’.
The model for text encoding and representation provided by this digital edition is both expandable and exportable and may be applied to other Early Modern plays in future.
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