From the first generations to the hinge generation

During this period, within the university framework and at the research centres the first generations of philologists laid down the basis for the scientific study of languages and their respective bodies of literature. Thus, we may say that philology studies, in the broadest sense, became consolidated in the 1930s. This movement, which was led in Portugal by Jose Leite de Vasconcelos (1858-1941) (although Francisco Adolfo Coelho (1847-1919) is considered to have been the first modern Portuguese philologist) and in Spain by Ramon Menendez Pidal (1869-1968), gave rise to new generations in a dynamic process: maestros and


disciples coexisted and passed on what they had learned, yet also developing new branches and specialist areas. Knowledge diversified and became specialised, while at the same time preserving tradition.

In Spain and Portugal we can date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the first generations of linguists and philologists in the sense of: “a polygrapher who published about language” [“poligrafo que publico sobre lengua”], the “ethnographer who compiled data of interest for linguistics” [“etnografo que recogio datos de interes para la linguistica”] or the “historian who made reliable editions of medieval texts” [“historiador que hizo ediciones fiables de textos me- dievales”] (Prista and Albino). It was during this period when interest in philological texts began and the publication of old Portuguese and Castilian texts with names associated with universities and a variety of disciplines. In Portugal: Teofilo Braga (1843-1924), Candido de Figueiredo (1846-1925), Carolina Michablis de Vasconcelos (1851-1925), Francisco Maria Esteves Pereira (1854-1924), Jose Leite de Vasconcelos (1858-1941), Jose Joaquim Nunes (1859-1932), Joaquim Mendes dos Remedios (1867-1932), David Lopes (1867-1942), Manuel Marques Braga (1877-1964), Manuel Rodrigues Lapa (1897-1989), etc. In Spain: Marcelino Menendez Pelayo (1856-1912), Ramon Menendez Pidal (1869-1968), Manuel Gomez Moreno (1870-1970), Miguel Asm Palacios (1871-1944), Julio Casares (1877-1970), Americo Castro (1885-1972), Salvador Fernandez Ramirez (18961983), Amado Alonso (1896-1952), Damaso Alonso (1898-1990), Emilio Garcia Gomez (1905-1995), etc. These were polygraphers and historians of literature, linguists, lexicographers, ethnographers, dialectologists, Arabists, classicists and Romanists, in many cases with a strong vocation for translation. Much of this research was published in two journals: Revista Lusitana (first series: 1887-1943; second series: since 1981) and Revista de Filologta Espanola (from 1914 to the present), which were founded, respectively, by Jose Leite de Vasconcelos and Ramon Menendez Pidal, the two maj or figures in philology during this period. A common feature of most of them is the joint consideration of the study of linguistics and of literature, which would be a characteristic of philological culture in Spain and Portugal during the first half of the twentieth century (Echenique Elizondo 36). Another characteristic of philological studies was the national concern for the language and culture of the fatherland, to the detriment of comparative studies (Holtus and Sanchez Miret 44-45). Another common feature of these studies was the mark left by German (many philologists were trained in Germany and translated texts or adapted famous works of European linguistics),[1] and the influence of the German Romantic tradition on ideas about translation, the most notable Iberian representative of which was Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) with his essay Miseria y esplendor de la traduction (1937).

Thus, the first generations of philologists were the teachers of the generations that held tenure at universities in the mid-twentieth century. They set down the foundations for the historical study of language and literature based on real teaching, which took place in the classrooms despite the political situation in the two countries, dominated by the shadow of censorship, which conditioned the development of research in the second half of the century. Indeed, the political circumstances - the installation of the Estado Novo in Portugal and the Franco Regime after the Spanish Civil War - held back the research of many philologists, who were forced into exile or had to work under heavy ideological pressure. With such restraints, the legacy that would last into the following generations, particularly the so-called “bridge” generation, would be that of the teachers who were not exiled.

The members of this bridge generation were trained before the first half of the twentieth century and would continue teaching until the 1970s or 1980s, and they were the ones who influenced the generations that supplied the first schools of translation. Apart from Antonio A. Gonsalves Rodrigues (1906-1999) and Valentin Garcia Yebra (1917-2010), discussed separately below, we may cite the work done with the historical and linguistic studies of Rafael Lapesa (1908-2001), Antonio Tovar (1911-1985) and Luis Filipe Lindley Cintra (1925-1991), all of whom were disciples of Menendez Pidal; the classical studies by Francisco Rebelo Gonsalves (1907-1982), Americo da Costa Ramalho (1921-2013), Francisco Rodriguez Adrados (1922), Antonio Fontan Perez (1923-), Justino Mendes de Almeida (1924-2012), Maria Helena da Rocha Pereira (1925-) and Agustin Garcia Calvo (1926-2012); the Arabic studies by Jose Domingos Garcia Domingues (1910-1989), Jose Pedro Machado (1914-2005), who translated Alcorao in 1979, Martim Velho Sottomayor (1922-), Miguel Cruz (1920-) or Pedro Montavez (1933-); from the biblical studies by Luis Alonso Schokel (1920-1998); from the literary and comparative studies by Jacinto do Prado Coelho (1920-1984) or the contributions to translation by translator/teachers of the stature of Paulo Quintela (1915-1987).[2]

  • [1] To the translation work done by Americo Castro, Jose Francisco Pastor (who translatedVossler), Amado Alonso, Damaso Alonso (who founded the Gredos publishing house)and many others (vid. Echenique Elizondo), we must add the Greek and Latin translations that were published in the late nineteenth century as part of Luis Navarros’sBiblioteca Clasica collection, when classical studies began to look towards Germanscience (Garcia Jurado 6) and began to be developed in Spain, without forgetting Ortega’s own promotion of translations in Revista de Occidente with the support ofManuel Garcia Morente (1886-1942), who also edited Calpe’s Coleccion Universal.
  • [2] Another supplementary field of study here would be to compile the work of the poet-translators and author-translators who were the contemporaries of the philologists,attempting to determine how the method and role of translation differed. Names ofrelevance in this respect include Mauro Armino, Jose Bento, Angel Crespo, VicenteGaos, Vasco Gra^a Moura, Astrana Marin, Fernando Assis Pacheco, Armindo JoseRodrigues, Miguel Saenz, Pedro Tamen and Jose Maria Valverde.
< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >