a wandering woman writes

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

As we were saying yesterday....

My houseguest Leslie took such a fabulous photo of the statue of Fray Luis de Leon in the Patio de las Escuelas, facing the ever evasive frog on the Plateresque facade of the University of Salamanca, that I feel compelled to post about him.

One of the anecdotes I've heard about Fray Luis Leon has become one of my favorites stories about Salamanca and Salmantinos. Fray Luis, a celebrated lyric poet and a respected theologian at the University of Salamanca, was thrown into prison for translating the Song of Songs into castellano, among other sins. Salamanca was a hotbed of controversy during the Counter Reformation, and Fray Luis was often in the thick of it. I've read some intriguing stories about envious and competing colleagues contributing, enthusiastically, to his temporary demise, but the reason I read most often is the forbidden translation, and a preference for reading the Old Testament in Hebrew.

Four years later, the charges against Fray Luis were dropped. He returned to Salamanca, to his familiar aula (classroom) in the University, and he greeted his students from the podium he'd left 4 years earlier with this:

"As we were saying yesterday......."



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