Skip to main content

The Student of Salamanca

by José de Espronceda (1810 - 1842) / translated by Salvador Ortiz-Carboneres and James E. Scorer / photographs by Herme S. Tomé

PREFIX

In the introduction to the Cambridge University Press edition of the work published in 1957, the edition we have used for our translation, E. Allison Peers describes José de Espronceda as “a Romantic of the Romantics” and El Estudiante de Salamanca as a work that “can hardly be surpassed as an example of Romantic poetry in Spain.” Cambridge University Press chose this work for their “Plain Text” series as it is a useful example of Spanish Romanticism for both schools and universities. Yet, El Estudiante de Salamanca is also an archetypal example of the Romantic Movement as a whole. Like Byron, Espronceda adopts and develops the myth of Don Juan to explore and question the characteristics of his age, creating in Don Félix a character who represents disillusion in faith and love. Espronceda’s inventive writing is evident in his fluid use of genre in work, which consists of both dramatic poetry and poetic drama. This translation makes accessible a work that enriches understanding of Romanticism rich poetry that is both intensely beautiful, macabre and in which we can see early glimpses of surrealism. We hope that it captures the essence of this complex and unique literary work.