alcahuete: pimp / squealer

pedro0001

Senior Member
Español (Argentina)
I'm reading right now the "Don Quixote" in spanish and in chapter XXII I found that Quixote says the following (obviously the point of view of Cervantes)

Aclaration: "pimp" in the traduction means "squealer" and not the usual meaning one usually has about it.

"If that touch had not been thrown in," said Don Quixote, "he would not
deserve, for mere pimping, to row in the galleys, but rather to command
and be admiral of them; for the office of pimp is no ordinary one, being
the office of persons of discretion, one very necessary in a well-ordered
state, and only to be exercised by persons of good birth...

It continues here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/996/996.txt
 
  • ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Three thick persons then who don't understand how this really nice quote of Cervantes' classic novel is relevant to the question we are called to answer in this thread.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Sorry, but what does this means?
    I mean literally. I don't know the expression.
    To intergrate means to fit into or be part of.
    I can see no connection between your quote and the thread question.


    .,,
    Three thick persons then who don't understand how this really nice quote of Cervantes' classic novel is relevant to the question we are called to answer in this thread.
    With one more member we will have a quorum and then we can vote on it
     

    pedro0001

    Senior Member
    Español (Argentina)
    I must confess that I just searched the traduction in English and paste it here but I don't really understand it in English. What I can tell is that in spanish is very clear what is the position of Don Quixote with respect to those who tell on people. Maybe the confusion comes because is antique english. I've noticed that in the traduction the word "pimp" is used as the traduction of "alcahuete" in spanish. Alcahuete is the person who tells on somebody actually, but the definition of "pimp" that I can see in the Merrian Webster dictionary is not that.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    I must confess that I just searched the traduction in English and paste it here but I don't really understand it in English. What I can tell is that in spanish is very clear what is the position of Don Quixote with respect to those who tell on people. Maybe the confusion comes because is antique english. I've noticed that in the traduction the word "pimp" is used as the traduction of "alcahuete" in spanish. Alcahuete is the person who tells on somebody actually, but the definition of "pimp" that I can see in the Merrian Webster dictionary is not that.
    Could you give us your opinion regarding the opinion you have posted that is beyond me.
    I do not understand the quote.
    A pimp is a controller of prostitutes.
    I do remember something about pimping meaning to tell on someone but I can not understand the association with touch.
    This is an old and dense tract that you have quoted and I am none the wiser having read it.

    .,,
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Ah! I "babelfished" it and it said that "Alcahuete" means "Procurer" one meaning of which ("pimp" being another) is 'ruffian' as in "informer", "squealer".
     

    aleechay

    Member
    usa/english
    I'm delighted to know that Cervantes meant "informer" which was translated as "pimp," boy is that off. I can't go with the manager who tattles on his starving shoplifting emplyee--that is a betrayal, and petty as well. The bomb on the train and the sexual molester are examples of clear cut cases. In case of others' minor moral lapses, I would not like to be the judge and jury.
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    I'm sorry but before I try to comment on that excerpt are you sure we're talking about a squealer and not a pimp? I can only go by the English translation as I don't have the book in my home and there's no Greek translation on line.

    In the translation I found it says about that man:

    "[...]the offence for which they gave him that punishment was having been an ear-broker, nay body-broker; I mean, in short, that this gentleman goes as a pimp, [....]"

    and afterwards the man says:

    as to that of being a pimp I cannot deny it; but I never thought I was doing any harm by it, for my only object was that all the world should enjoy itself and live in peace and quiet, without quarrels or troubles
     

    pedro0001

    Senior Member
    Español (Argentina)
    I'm sorry but before I try to comment on that excerpt are you sure we're talking about a squealer and not a pimp? I can only go by the English translation as I don't have the book in my home and there's no Greek translation on line.

    In the translation I found it says about that man:



    and afterwards the man says:

    Yes, I'm absolutely shure about it. It is about a squealer.
     

    natasha2000

    Senior Member
    I must confess that I just searched the traduction translation in English and paste it here but I don't really understand it in English. What I can tell is that in spanish is very clear what is the position of Don Quixote with respect to those who tell on people. Maybe the confusion comes because is antique english. I've noticed that in the traduction the word "pimp" is used as the traduction of "alcahuete" in spanish. Alcahuete is the person who tells on somebody actually, but the definition of "pimp" that I can see in the Merrian Webster dictionary is not that.


    I think that the translation is wrong, or at least there is some kind of confusion...

    Alcahuet,a appeared for the first time in Spanish literature in the Arcipreste de Hita's "Libro de buen amor", and she was a witch who made possible the impossible love and desires, if you know what I mean;), which would be a "pimp" in modern terms. Her name, Trotaconventos, as well as the name of her more famous heiress, Celestina, both became common name for a woman who takes care of joining two people and make possible their love come true, which, by the way, usually was limited to carnal love...
    Now, as I see in WR, alcahuete can also mean chivato, informador, i.e. a whistleblower, depending on the country. I made a quick check of this thread, and as far as I remember, according to these forer@s, in Asturias and in Argentina it means whistleblower and NOT a pimp. My wild guess is that Cervantes used it in its meaning of a whistleblower, and a translator went for a "pimp" translation. I guess that a translator is a complete ignorant about Cervates' work. At least he/she should have got better informed about it before daring to translate it...

    so just switch "pimp" for "informer" or "whistleblower" and you'll get the point...:)
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    "If that touch had not been thrown in," said Don Quixote, "he would not
    deserve, for mere informing, to row in the galleys, but rather to command
    and be admiral of them; for the office of informer is no ordinary one, being
    the office of persons of discretion, one very necessary in a well-ordered
    state, and only to be exercised by persons of good birth...
    Somehow that doesn't make much sense :confused:

    I can see why a pimp must be discreet but an informer must act with discretion? Meaning what? That he/she must only whisper the information to a certain person? And the "position" of an informer?

    P.S. I somehow think that policemen around the world who use snitches would strongly disagree with the "good birth" qualification.


    Anyway, to get back to topic, no matter what mister Cervantes means he is talking about someone who makes a living out of being a pimp/informer.

    This is immoral.

    Betraying the trust of a person is to my mind something that depends on the circustances as I mentioned before. Not betraying something that was told to you as a secret is just one of the moral values a person has. You can't judge everything based on one of your moral values only.

    If I am not mistaken even lawyers and others bound by the code of their profession not to break trust have to do so in certain, very specific circumstances.
     

    natasha2000

    Senior Member
    Somehow that doesn't make much sense :confused:

    I can see why a pimp must be discreet but an informer must act with discretion? Meaning what? That he/she must only whisper the information to a certain person? And the "position" of an informer?

    I was very intrigued by your post so I looked for XXII chapter in my copy of DQ and after I have read the whole parragraph, I think that our friend Pedro made a mistake. IMHO, the word pimp maybe is not the best one, but it referrs to a person who is intermediator between secret lovers, and not a snitch or informer. Maybe the usage of the word alcahuete in Argentina exclusively for "informer" made him to make this mistake... (Sorry, Pedro...:()

    As far as the title of this thread, I agree with cuba Mania that we should make a clear difference between a tattle-tale and whistleblower.

    If you need to betray your best friend or your father in order to do the right thing - saving many lives, for example, then I wouldn't even call it betrial, but rather an extremely hard but necessary thing to do...
     

    pedro0001

    Senior Member
    Español (Argentina)
    I was very intrigued by your post so I looked for XXII chapter in my copy of DQ and after I have read the whole parragraph, I think that our friend Pedro made a mistake. IMHO, the word pimp maybe is not the best one, but it referrs to a person who is intermediator between secret lovers, and not a snitch or informer. Maybe the usage of the word alcahuete in Argentina exclusively for "informer" made him to make this mistake... (Sorry, Pedro...:()

    As far as the title of this thread, I agree with cuba Mania that we should make a clear difference between a tattle-tale and whistleblower.

    If you need to betray your best friend or your father in order to do the right thing - saving many lives, for example, then I wouldn't even call it betrial, but rather an extremely hard but necessary thing to do...

    Natasha & ireney, I must admit you're right. Sorry for the confusion.

    Cheers
     

    Lozano

    New Member
    French
    When we talk about "alcahuete" in literature, we need to think of the supreme reference, Fernando de Rojas's "La Celestina" (1499), "la alcahueta", a work well known by Cervantes who said about it: "Libro, en mi opinión, divino / si encubriera más lo humano". So Celestina is the old prostitute, the witch (bruja y hechicera) and the go-between. She will be crucial and tragic in the relationship between Calisto and Melibea. Now in Don Quixote, irony, satire and parody are the main resources of the author. The presence of prostitution has been important in Don Quixote since the first pages. Cervantes can use it in order to subvert the traditional world of wandering knights and their defense of moral values. Indeed, Alonso Quijano becomes Don Quixote and has his first sally. He will be wandering by the Campos de Montiel (La Mancha) and when he find the inn, he thinks it is a castle with two young noble women waiting for him. We all know today that both girls are prostitutes ("dos truchas", it's in the text). "Un alcahuete" is a "rufián" (the pimp), the French "maquereau" and "proxénète." In the episod of the "Galeotes", Ginés de pasamonte and all his companions have been convicted by Spanish justice. Don Quixote, as usual, will not accept this reality and create a parallel one in which he will free these men. Of course, these "galeotes", as soon they perceive he is mad, will casting stones at him and Sancho
    By the way, don't forget to read Francisco Delicado's "La Lozana Andaluza" (circa 1528) to learn more about the pre-picaresque world in Renaissance Rome.
     
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