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Hamlet. Tragedia de Guillermo Shakespeare.
Madrid, en la Officina de Villalpando, 1798.. 8vo (227 x 168 mm). (48), 379, (1) pp. With engr. frontispiece by Leonetti after Giuseppe Cades, printed title with aphorism from Martial verso. Later Curwen patterned paper boards, leather title labels with gilt titles to spine. Edges uncut.. The very scarce first edition of Hamlet in Spanish. Translated by the Spanish playwright and poet Leandro Fernandez de Moratin (1760-1828) under the pseudonym "Inarco Celenio", this first Spanish translation was published almost two centuries after the play was first performed (c.1600) and published in quarto form (1603). De Moratin travelled to Paris where he planned to study French drama, however the events of the Revolution in France so terrified him that he fled to England where he began the translation. As de Moratin wrote in a letter to Juan Antonio Melon: "If the French had not been crazy, I would never have come to see Shakespeare's immortal works." The beginning of Hamlet's famous monologue in Act III, Scene IV is here rendered thus: "Existir o no existir: esta es la q├╝estion. Qual es mas digna accion del animo, sufrir los tiros penetrantes de la fortuna injusta, u oponer los brazos a este torrente de calamidades, y darlas fin con atrevida resistencia?" - "In spite of Moratin's critical judgement of Hamlet, his translation was very honest, since he did not alter Shakespeare's departures from the neoclassical canon. Moratin's fidelity to the source text, even when he did not agree with it, explains the success and permanence of his translation [...] Moratin was the writer who most influenced Spanish translators of Shakespeare" (Isabel Verdaguer, "Shakespeare's 'Poem Unlimited' in Eighteenth-Century Spain", in: Translating Shakespeare for the Twenty-First Century, Amsterdam/NY 2004). This first Spanish edition of Hamlet is particularly rare in commerce and the only examples we can locate at auction are from the 1960s (two copies); COPAC lists three copies in the UK, at the British Library, Oxford and Cambridge and while OCLC locates further copies in North America, it lists only two in Spanish libraries, a copy at the Bibliotheque National de France and one at Berlin for Europe; the Folger Shakespeare Library has three copies. - A good copy with presentation in blue ink to initial blank: "Para Salvador / Abril 1948. / Oxford" and ownership inscription - presumably that of "Salvador" - beneath in blue ink with additional location detail.
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Inlibris, Gilhofer Nfg. GmbH]
Last Found On: 2015-07-12           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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