On 14 September, the Istituto Storico San Josemaría introduced their presentation of the new critical edition of Camino at the University of the Holy Cross (Rome). The event was attended by the Head of the edition, philologist Fidel Sebastián Mediavilla, and professors Vicente Bosch (Faculty of Theology) and Rafael Jiménez Cataño (Faculty of Institutional Social Communication). Luis Cano, secretary of the Istituto Storico San Josemaría, acted as moderator.
The title chosen for the round table that served to introduce this new edition was “A path between the classics”, as the book is included in the collection promoted by the Centre for the Edition of Spanish Classics, of the University of Valladolid, directed by the academic Francisco Rico. Furthermore, since its publication in 1939, Camino has surpassed 420 editions, and according to research by the Cervantes Institute, it is the fourth most translated work written in Spanish, behind “El Quijote” by Miguel de Cervantes and two novels by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez.
The new edition carries out a careful critical examination and with annotations of the 999 points of Camino, interprets the small variants that exist between the various editions, refers to the sources and locates the vocabulary and lexical constructions in relation to the contemporary authors and immediately prior to St. Josemaría, especially of the mystical and Spanish spiritual tradition, such as St. Teresa of Jesus. All this provides the contemporary reader with a better understanding of the text, and helps them place each point in its linguistic, religious, historical and cultural context.
Some of the speakers at the presentation ceremony highlighted that this edition has the merit of having located the explicit and implicit citations of various authors -both spirituality and Spanish literature- that are often found in the various points of Camino. An approach that allows us to better assess Escrivá’s literary influences, the origin of his writing, and some details of his style.
Fidel Sebastián is a philologist specialising in the Spanish Golden Age; he has previously edited the Book of my Life by Saint Teresa of Jesus (2014), and the Introduction of the Symbol of Faith by Friar Luis de Granada (2021), for the Classical Library of the Royal Spanish Academy, in addition to other critical editions of works by Juan de Palafox and Lorenzo and Jerónimo Gracián.