The soul in the mediaeval Psalter

Kinga Lis


The soul in the mediaeval Psalter

The paper is an attempt to examine what lies at the heart and soul of the mediaeval Psalter in the contemporaneous approach(es) to its vernacularisations. In particular, the paper investigates the applications of the mediaeval translation theory in relation to a 12th-century Anglo-Norman, a 15th-century Middle French and four 14th-century Middle English prose Psalter renditions, with a view to locate them within the spirit of the attitude to biblical translations current in the Middle Ages and against the backdrop of the position of the Psalter in the period. In practical terms, the analysis is conducted on the basis of the equivalent selection strategies for rendering four Latin nouns central to the Psalter: anima, animae ‘soul,’ cor, cordis ‘heart’ and, perhaps surprisingly, ren, renis ‘kidney’ and lumbus, lumbi ‘loins’. All cases of variation in this respect are studied closely from intra- as well as extra-textual perspectives in order to establish the possible reasons behind the divergences, as these constitute exceptions rather than the rule, even in apparently heterodox renditions.


Dusza w średniowiecznym Psałterzu

Artykuł stanowi próbę bliższego przyjrzenia się podstawowym zasadom średniowiecznego podejścia do tłumaczenia psałterza na języki wernakularne. Przedstawiono w nim analizę zastosowania mediewalnej teorii tłumaczeń w odniesieniu do dwunastowiecznego Psałterza anglo-normandzkiego, piętnastowiecznego Psałterza średniofrancuskiego i czterech czternastowiecznych tłumaczeń Księgi Psalmów na średnioangielski. Celem było wykazanie, w jakim stopniu analizowane teksty odzwierciedlają ówczesne podejście do tłumaczeń biblijnych w kontekście znaczenia psałterza w średniowieczu. Badanie przeprowadzone jest na podstawie doboru ekwiwalentów w tłumaczeniu czterech – niezwykle istotnych z powodu rangi tych tekstów w średniowieczu – łacińskich rzeczowników: anima, animae‚ ‘dusza’, cor, cordis‚ ‘serce’ oraz, co może zaskoczyć, ren, renis‚ ‘nerka’ i lumbus, lumbi, ‘lędźwie’. Najwięcej uwagi poświęcono ustaleniu źródła analizowanej z perspektywy zarówno intra-, jak i ekstratekstualnej wariancji w doborze odpowiedników, jako że rozbieżność w tym względzie stanowi raczej wyjątek, a nie regułę, nawet w tłumaczeniach – wydawałoby się – heterodoksyjnych.


biblical translation theory; equivalent selection strategy; Psalter; Psalter translation

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