Joseph de la Vega’s “Confusion of Confusions”, with Sue Burke
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What European institution awards the annual De La Vega Prize to “young European researchers who distinguish themselves by outstanding research on the securities markets in Europe”?
Joseph de la Vega was a successful Jewish merchant, poet, and philanthropist residing in 17th century Amsterdam. He became famous for his masterpiece Confusion of Confusions, the oldest book ever written on the stock exchange business.
Joseph was born in Spain, but when he was still young he went to Amsterdam, where he began to write. He became a respected merchant and an elegant Spanish poet, and filled the honorary offices of president of the Academia de los Sitibundos and secretary of the Academia de los Floridos, which were Spanish cultural salons. De la Vega wrote over 200 letters to different princes and statesmen, and was a prolific author.
Sue Burke is a certified translator specializing in historical texts, that is, in medieval and renaissance Spanish. She has recently completed a translation of Joseph de la Vega’s Confusion of Confusions, a project funded by the CNMV, which is the agency in charge of supervising and inspecting the Spanish Stock Markets, much like the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. She spoke with us about the book and its author.