sábado, 8 de março de 2008

Margaret Roper

Para lembrar o Dia Internacional da Mulher, selecionei alguns trechos do artigo Margaret Roper & Erasmus: The relationship of translator and source da revista WWR – Women Writing and Reading.

Margaret (1505-1544), filha de Thomas More, se tornou conhecida por sua tradução do latim para o inglês de Precatio Dominica [A devout treatise upon the Pater Noster] (1523) do humanista holandês e teólogo Erasmo de Roterdã. Convém lembrar que os escritos de Erasmo contribuíram de forma significativa para a estruturação das bases intelectuais para a Reforma Protestante (ver Allister McGrath, Teologia Histórica, Ed. Cultura Cristã, 2007. pp.134-135).

O artigo completo é longo, mas não monótono, pois descreve em detalhes os recursos usados por Margaret como tradutora para manter o espírito e a relevância do texto de Erasmo.

Chamam a atenção as observações sobre o modo como as mulheres estudiosas eram vistas na época (ver negrito meu abaixo) e sobre o papel pioneiro de Margaret não apenas como tradutora, mas como disseminadora do conhecimento.

As biographers, dramatists, historians, painters, and philosophers present her, Margaret Roper is preeminently her father's creature. Educated in the More household, this erudite woman is assumed to be a paragon of filial virtue, a characterization which has the potential to muffle individuality. Only a portion of her writing has survived [...]

In Erasmus's correspondence with Roper, whom he greeted as "optima Margareta," the humanist praised the letters of all the More sisters as "sensible, well-written, modest, forthright and friendly" (letter 1401, Basel, 25 December 1523). His Christmas gift to her in the year of the publication of Precatio Dominica was his commentary on Prudentius's hymns for Christmas and the Epiphany; the gift not only verifies his confidence in Margaret's Latin but also reveals Erasmus's "attitude presque paternelle" since he casts himself as "le pédagogue attentioné, soucieux de former une élève de choix" (Béné 473). The following year Erasmus used Margaret as "the probable model" (King 181) for Magdalia in the colloquy "The Abbot and the Learned Lady"; this interlocutor wastes no time chastizing the Abbot's fear of women's learning, deftly wielding a double-edged sword to reply to the claim that "a wise woman is twice foolish": That's commonly said, yes, but by fools. A woman truly wise is not wise in her own conceit. On the other hand, one who thinks herself wise when she knows nothing is indeed twice foolish. (Thompson 222) [...]

Margaret Roper was a creative translator schooled in travelling back and forth between Latin and English. The practice of double translation, from English to Latin and then from Latin back to English, encouraged in More's home-based school, supplied the "early apprenticeship" (Weinberg 26) Margaret drew on most effectively in A deuout treatise. Her father's ardent belief in the need to educate girls and boys as, in the phrasing of his letter to the tutor William Gonell, "equally suited for the knowledge of learning by which reason is cultivated," not only established "More's leadership, in both practice and theory, about the liberal training of women" (Rogers 120-23) but also must have heartened and inspired Margaret when Erasmus's commentary came into her hands. She knew from experience that "the study of Latin was, to some extent, a Renaissance puberty rite - but only for boys and young men - " (McCutcheon 201) and that her rare privilege also conferred a responsibility to share and disseminate this catechetical teaching. […]

The work of this unknown girl, who was also a remarkably shrewd, self-possessed scholar, is poised on the brink of individual creative expression. Although in the sixteenth-century female-gendered activity of translating, a woman translator was "less vulnerable to the accusation of circulating her words inappropriately" because "they were not, strictly speaking, her words at all" (Lamb 12), Roper's translation is not enslaved to the source language nor does it caper irresponsibly in the target language. The respect accorded the source seems due as much to its subject and intent as to its authorship. […]

The intense filial bond between Margaret More Roper and her father accounts for her scholarship, her friendship with Erasmus and, in a practical way, our recognition of her as a translator. But this daughter for all seasons is not simply a conveyor (translatus meaning "carried across") from Latin to English. In its elements of self-conscious discourse, her authorial voice does not shy away from teaching, from commentary on its own functioning and primary message. Her additions and embellishments, along with decisions to elide and collapse phrases, show how warmly she responded to the rhetorical exercise of preaching. Expounding on, colouring and extending the Erasmian source, her translation supplies a truly polyphonic response.

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