Newsletter

Cervantes Society of America
October 1994

Cordial greetings from Granville, and welcome back to the academic cycle—one that we trust has gotten off to a good start and will be both pleasant and stimulating. Or at the least, tolerable.

There is not a great deal of news to report, but the following items should be of interest to our members. First, the program for the MLA Convention has been more or less set up, and the activities of our society are scheduled as follows:

1. The panel “Reflections on Quixotic Desire” will take place on Tuesday, 27 December, at 3:30 pm. Prof. Diana de Armas Wilson will chair the session and will offer a brief tribute to Ruth El Saffar. The participants and papers are as follows:

Adrienne Martín (Stanford), “Images of Deviance in Cervantes's Algiers.”

James Parr (UC, Riverside), “Beyond the Pleasure Principle with Don Quixote.”

Yvonne Jehenson (U. of Hartford), “Quixotic Desire or Stark Reality.”

María Antonia Garcés (Cornell), “The Meaning of Madness: Onomancy in El licenciado Vidriera.”

2. The CSA Cash Bar will be held on Thursday 29 December, from 5:15 to 6:30pm, in the Windsor Room of the Hyatt Regency.

3. The Executive Council meeting will also take place on the 29th, beginning at 7:15pm.

4. The Open Business meeting will follow (Thurs. 29 Dec.), beginning at 9:00pm. Prof. Michel Moner (U. de Grenoble, France) will give the plenary address.

At the Open Business meeting, the new officers and executive council members of the CSA (who will be elected this autumn for the 1995-1997 term; ballots will be forthcoming soon) will be announced.

Concerning the practice of holding our meetings at the annual MLA convention, our President, John J. Allen, has sent the following message—which we will duplicate and send out again with the election ballots, in the manner of an opinion poll:

     “Our affiliation with the MLA has been a fruitful one; it is certainly the one meeting that more of our members attend than any other, and for more than a decade we have met annually and done our business in conjunction with the Association. It is nevertheless true that not all of us can or wish to go to the MLA meetings, and it has bothered me for some time that those whose family or other commitments preclude going to those meetings can never participate directly in the public conduct of our business. Some speakers whom we have invited to address the Open Business Meeting have turned us down because of this conflict. Our only meeting not in connection with the MLA was the Galatea Fourth Centenary Symposium at the Library of Congress in 1985.
     “On the basis of conversations with a number of CSA members, I would like to have your reactions to the following idea: How about a CSA meeting in connection with the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, the last week in April, 1996? We could have our annual Executive Council and Open Business meetings either in conjunction with MLA 1995, with follow-ups at KFLC, or only at KFLC, as projected business and attendance warranted. The arrangement of sessions would be free of the tight MLA restrictions, allowing for invited speakers, special panels on particular topics, Shakespeare Association-type seminars in which participants have already read the papers beforehand and come to discuss them seriously, etc. I am not proposing something grandiose; rather the contrary: a chance to innovate a bit, and in a setting that permits more interchange outside the formal sessions.
     “I propose Kentucky because we have an old, nationally and internationally recognized conference at a reasonable time of year and in a place not tied to either coast. An arrangement of this sort would not jeopardize our affiliation with MLA and could become an alternate-year option for the future (with or without a change of locale) or remain a one-time anomaly, depending upon participation and results.”

Prof. Allen then appends, in a ballot form, a couple of advice options (we will send this to you along with the election ballots) and gives his e-mail address for your reactions: JALLEN@ukcc.uky.edu.

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We are informed that Ruth El Saffar's home institution, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, has set up a Memorial Fund in her name. Anyone interested in the fund or wishing to find out more about its special goals should contact Prof. Reinaldo Ayerbe-Chaux, Head, at the following address:

Dept. of Spanish, French, Italian, & Portuguese
University of Illinois
601 South Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7117
* * *

From our colleague Daniel Eisenberg (Florida State U.) we received the following:

“José María Casasayas was operated on in July for a recurrence of throat cancer. As a result he has lost the ability to speak. Coming on top of the loss of his wife last year, he has taken this very hard. Notes from well-wishers would be much in order. His address is Apartado 1181, 07080 Palma de Mallorca.

“The various projects of the Asociación de Cervantistas, already delayed because of lack of funding, have been further affected. The Anuario Bibliográfico Cervantino is defunct, its editor Santiago López Navia tells me. The Edición Crítica de las Obras Completas de Cervantes is (much to my dismay) apparently also dead. I am doubtful about the status of the projected journal Cuadernos cervantinos.

“The Segundo Congreso Internacional de la Asociación de Cervantistas was held in Naples this past spring. There will not be a Coloquio this November. The most pressing business of the Asociación is the publication of the Actas of the Primer Congreso, held in Almagro in 1991, the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Coloquios, held in Alcalá in 1991, 1992, and 1993, and those of the Segundo Congreso. I will be investigating their status in Spain this fall.”

* * *

Thomas Lathrop (U. of Delaware) informs us that he is preparing an edition of Don Quixote, one specially designed for speakers of English. As Dr. Lathrop describes it,

Don Quixote is the most studied foreign-language masterwork in American universities, yet there has never been an edition of it prepared for our students. American students continue to use editions published in Spain for Spaniards. In these editions, words and expressions that are difficult (or impossible) for English-speaking students are not defined since Spaniards already know and understand them. Cultural information which all educated Spaniards know is equally not annotated. This means that American students who use these editions are deprived of much of what they need in order to understand the text.
     “I am now almost half-way through the preparation of an edition of Don Quixote for English-speaking students of Spanish. It has an abundance of explanatory, cultural, and grammatical footnotes, written in English, to put our students on an even footing with the cultured Spaniard. To help solve vocabulary problems, marginal glosses in English provide meanings for words and expressions that our upper-division students generally do not know. In this way, students will have the essential tools right in front of them to help them read efficiently, and will not have to resort to dictionaries or English translations. For comparison, Part I, Chapter 1 in my edition has 101 vocabulary items and 71 explanatory notes. Martín de Riquer's Juventud edition has only thirteen vocabulary notes and ten explanatory notes.
     “My edition is based on the public-domain Schevill-Bonilla critical edition (Madrid, 1928-1941). Whereas Schevill-Bonilla retains the spelling and punctuation of the princeps, my edition conservatively modernizes spelling and punctuation. I have numbered the lines in the text, and the headline of each page says what happens on that page.”

Prof. Lathrop is also preparing A Don Quixote Dictionary; this dictionary will give meanings only as they apply to the Quijote. An important feature is that if a word means one thing in Part I, Chapter 2, and something else in Part II, Chapter 73, for example, references will show students the proper meaning of each instance. This dictionary can be used with any Spanish edition. Since the dictionary is being prepared simultaneously with the above mentioned edition, both will be ready at the same time.

Finally, Prof. Lathrop is preparing a Don Quixote Concordance on CD-ROM. This concordance will be generated from the electronic text of the above mentioned edition.

* * *

Concerning other publications, we have received very little information directly from our members; but we are pleased to announce the recent publication of Prof. Dominick Finello's Pastoral Themes and Forms in Cervantes's Fiction (Lewisburg PA: Bucknell University Press, 1994).

Also, we are informed that Diana de Armas Wilson has written the Introduction to Burton Raffel's new English translation of Don Quijote, currently in press at W. W. Norton & Co.

Some of our members have expressed an interest in knowing the e-mail addresses of the others in the Society. With this in mind—plus our own long-held wish to have a directory of the members—we would like to propose publishing a directory. Thus, all those who would like to do so are invited to send me (or e-mail me at CLAMURRO@CC.DENISON.EDU) their e-mail addresses.

* * *

Finally, we would like to remind all members to take note of the year indicated to the right of your name on the mailing label. This shows the year through which your membership is paid. For those who have not already done so, now is the time to be thinking of paying for 1995 (regular membership: $20 per year; student membership: $10).

Best wishes for the balance of the autumn term.


Cervantes Society of America
c/o William H. Clamurro
Department of Modern Languages
Denison University
Box M
Granville, OH 43023


Fred Jehle jehle@ipfw.edu Publications of the CSA HCervantes
URL: http://www.h-net.org/~cervantes/csa/nwsltf94.htm