Dei delitti e delle pene di Cesare Beccaria in spagnolo

Traduzione documento e traduzione strumento a confronto

(Univ. of Padua & Univ. of Bologna)




The focus of our paper are the first and second Spanish translations of Cesare Beccaria’s masterpiece, i.e. “Dei delitti e delle pene (An Essay on Crimes and Punishments)”, the widely celebrated treatise against death penalty and torture. In the first part, we briefly summarised the main steps of its birth within the Italian Enlightenment context. Secondly, we mentioned the relevance of the French translator who reorganized the text, redistributing parts of chapters into different ones, and turning the book into a well structured penological treatise. As a result, the French translation was used as source text in the translation process into other languages (such as German, for instance), and, since then, Beccaria’s work was published, also in Italian language, with the new structure. Finally, we analysed the two Spanish translations: the first one by Juan Antonio de las Casas (1774), the second by Juan Rivera (1821). Nearly fifty years passed between the two translations: in that space of time the political Spanish context changed and the religious censorship became less powerfull. As a result, the two translators used different strategies and translation procedures in order not to undergo limitations or prohibitions by Spanish Inquisition. Juan Antonio de las Casas employed some paratexts (preface of the translator, protest of the translator, advice of “Consejo de Castilla”, etc.) where he apologised for the contents of the book, and tried not to interpret but simply conveyed them into Spanish. On the contrary, the presence of Juan Rivera in the target text is more visible, as we showed in some passages included in the paper. Therefore, the translation made by Juan de las Casas may be considered a “documentary translation” since it follows the source text nearly literaly, while the second one is an example of instrumental translation: its clear aim is to be read, comprehended and discussed by lawnmakers.





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