An anthology, a compilation of songs, and what is probably the most beautiful collection of love poems in the world will feature in this series of lecturers: the Song of Songs.
The Canticles, one of the shortest books in the Old Testament –117 verses– has generated a profusion of interpretations and translations and has raised a great many questions. Was it composed by King Solomon? When does it date from? Why and how was it incorporated into the Hebrew Bible? Should its interpretation be literal or allegorical?
The presence of fray Luis de León is indispensable in analysing the Canticles. Fray Luis devoted himself to its translation and interpretation in the vernacular from the Hebrew and the theological problems of his time emerged in this creative process. Fray Luis’s interest went beyond translation and also extended to the philological and stylistic context, as in its texts it reflected a refinement that helped to mould the Spanish language and made him –for many– an innovator of literature in the Romance language.