- Posted April 12, 2012 by
Translations & Mistranslations
The story of Troilus and Criseyde is sad and a common mistranslation on the part of Troilus, not Criseyde, the reader, or any other subject. Chaucer points to love (which is another mistranslation for admired, accepted, tolerable, comfortable lifestyle and wanted company) as something that binds the world to the laws of nature. Chaucer states, “That Love is he that alle thing may bynde,/For may no man fordon the lawe of kynde.” Troilus mocked the rivers of desire and in return was granted blindness when the time came to traverse the same rivers he had once forsaken. Chaucer also points to another law of nature that Troilus was helplessly unaware of when Criseyde left and was forcefully traded. Chaucer states, “Yow made, and thynketh al nys but a faire,/This world that passeth soone as floures faire.” Troilus was once again left blind to the possible outcomes of a long distant relationship, a beautiful flower who’s love, affection, and devotion will wither away with faulty negligence, fall to another taker; and, if Troilus was of sane mind, leave you with nothing but the memory of glory days, in the warmth of a young girls heart.
On a darker note, mistranslation often occurs in the real world in the form of unacceptable facts, self-interpretations that lead to conspiracies, which in turn lead to fragile beliefs. In the 20th century the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is one of the more prominent translation/mistranslations of events that might have actually occurred. Who is responsible for lifelong and literary tragedies? I maintain that the search for blame, properly appointed, wide spread, justifiable blame is what leads individual search to wanted answers and the reason for a plethora of different translations/mistranslations in literature and forthcoming real time events.