• The University of Oviedo names John Rutherford Doctor Honoris Causa

    April 23, 2014

    The University of Oviedo names John Rutherford Doctor Honoris Causa

    John Rutherford receives from the Rector, Vicente Gotor, the distinction that names him Doctor Honoris Causa.

    The University of Oviedo has just incorporated a new Doctor Honoris Causa to its roster. Hispanist John Rutherford received the university distinction from the Rector, Vicente Gotor, accompanied by his sponsor, professor Agustín Coletes, during a solemn ceremony that took place at the Main Hall. The act coincided with the Book Day and the opening of an exhibition at the University Library in celebration that showcased bibliographical jewels of Don Quixote and La Regenta.

    The first translator of La Regenta to English, as well as translator of Don Quixote and another hundred works, Rutherford delivered a speech centered on the defense of the job of translators from the mere changing of words to elevate it to the category of thrilling adventure, superior creation and also an art, as his second added during his own speech. "The good translator does not just copy, but recreates. They are not copyists, they are the second author, the co-author", claimed Rutherford. The new Doctor Honoris Causa, professor of Oxford University, thanked the distinction and went back to his beginning as a translator, alongside Clarin's masterpiece, which he called "a great psychological and social novel".

    The Rector of the University of Oviedo remembered medievalist historian Eloy Benito Ruano, deceased at Oviedo, who was also part of the roster of Doctors Honoris Causa of the Asturian academic institution. Vicente Gotor thanked John Rutherford for his commitment towards Asturias and his dedication towards a job that has something magical and that turns literature into a universal asset, overcoming the barriers imposed by languages.

    After the solemn act of investiture, the authorities and the honoree inaugurated the exhibition on editions of La Regenta and Don Quixote that belong to the University Library. Titled "John Rutherford entre el Quijote y La Regenta", the exhibition showcases around twenty volumes from a selection that includes, among many others, a first edition of Don Quixote from Lisbon, from 1605, printed by Jorge Rodríguez (an extremely rare edition and highly valued by bibliographers), and the first edition of La Regenta (1884-1885).