“Llibre D’amic E Amat” by Raymond Lull. The Problem of Translation of the Title Characters’ Names

Andrzej Zając


One of the most famous and widely read works of Raymond Lull (1235-1316) is the Llibre d’ amic e amat. This simple title, as it turns out, is not at all clear enough and causes difficulties in Polish translations. The name of the first character, which is human—amic, appears in Polish translations as a friend or a lover, and the name of the other, which is God—amat, appears as a lover or beloved. Which of the variants more adequately captures the meaning of the original? For the rational getting bottom of the problem it is necessary to analyse the Catalan term from the semantic point of view at first. At the same time there have to be taken into consideration that the term locates its etymological source in the culture of the Latin language. Whereas the Lull's work draws inspiration from the Bible, it is also necessary to examine the biblical context of different kinds of love and the specific terms that define them. Pragmatic analysis also allows us to capture the specificity of the relationship of people related with a specific kind of love. An interdisciplinary reflection on the names of the mystic work shows the non-randomness of the literary convention settled in the concrete realities of religious experience, with its specificity in the context of the culture of the source language as well as the target language. This study, beyond the very analysis of the problem, also gives the author translation proposal with Polish equivalents of the title characters’ names of the work.


Raymond Lull; kinds of love; friendship; mysticism; the Bible; Sufism; name

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Copyright (c) 2017 Annals of Arts

Roczniki Humanistyczne · ISSN 0035-7707 | eISSN 2544-5200 | DOI: 10.18290/rh

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