La entretenida by Miguel de Cervantes: A Digital, Annotated Edition and an English Translation (The Diversion)

This website forms one part of research entitled 'Cervantes’s La entretenida: Translation, Performance and a Digital Edition', carried out by John O’Neill (King’s College London) within Out of the Wings, a project on Spanish and Spanish-American theatre in translation, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The website includes a fully annotated edition of the play, together with the first known translation into English, The Diversion, by John O’Neill. This translation formed the basis of a staged reading, sponsored by the Cultural Office of the Spanish Embassy, in the Old Anatomy Museum at King’s College London in May 2007.

The other part of the research is a written thesis of nearly 80,000 words, in four sections. The first of these proposes a new interpretation of the play, which highlights Cervantes’s fascination with the relationship between life and literature. The second part presents the results of an investigation into the printing of Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses nuevos, nunca representados (Eight New Plays and Interludes, Never Performed), the volume of plays within which which La entretenida is contained. The third section of the written submission presents the rationale for this digital edition, while the final part discusses the process of translating and performing the play.

The research has involved translation, theatre practice, and scholarship within the fields of textual criticism, bibliography and digital humanities. Reflecting this experience, this edition is aimed at academics, theatre practitioners and translators alike, and seeks to contribute to dismantling the unhelpful boundaries that have sometimes existed between these different groups.

This edition offers a new perspective on Cervantes as a playwright by providing four views of the Spanish text, together with an English translation (see Key Features: Different Views of the Text), and by presenting the text in a way that privileges the verse, thus acknowledging the importance of poetic form in Spanish Golden Age drama. The edition also incorporates various indices (see About the Indices) that help to contextualise the play, as well as features designed to aid theatre practitioners, such as menus that enable one to quickly access costume, props and stage furniture requirements for each scene, and to track the speeches and movements of individual characters (see Key Features: Special Menus).

The model for text encoding and representation provided by this digital edition is both expandable and exportable. It could, for example, be applied to the whole of Ocho comedias, to other Early Modern plays or even to the complete works of Cervantes.