Author: Bernat Metge
Translator: David Barnett
Theme: Appearances, Dialogue, Philosophy, Poetry, Oneiric works i Imaginary journey
Tags: TranslationsEnglish translations
Edition Number: 1ª
Format: 15,5 x 23,5
The narrative frame of the Book of Fortune and Prudence, set in contemporary Barcelona, contrasts strikingly with the central fantastic and philosophical encounter with Fortune and Prudence. It illustrates the freedom with which Metge references more than one genre, and plays with the reader’s expectations. DAVID BARNETT Written around 1381 by Bernat Metge, the most important Catalan writer of the fourteenth century, the Book of Fortune and Prudence is a fantasy in verse, drawing on learned sources, principally The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. Early one morning, Bernat, the protagonist and narrator, decides to alleviate his sorrows by strolling around the harbour of Barcelona. He meets an old man, apparently a beggar, who tricks him into getting into a boat which, despite the absence of sails and oars, conveys him to an island where the goddess Fortuna appears to him. In a heated discussion, Bernat blames her for all his misfortunes. His next meeting is with Prudencia who is accompanied by seven maidens representing the liberal arts. Prudencia is able to lessen his despair, and exhorts him to trust in providence and renounce material possessions. When she considers him cured, she and the maidens send him sailing back to Barcelona, where he quickly goes home to avoid gossiping townsfolk. This edition includes both an English translation and the original Catalan version.