Marta Katarzyna Kacprzak graduated in Hebrew by the University of Warsaw and in Spanish Philology by the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Warsaw). In 2016 she started her PhD thesis about the Sephardi versions of Robinson Crusoe at the Institute of Iberian and Ibero-American Studies of the University of Warsaw. Throughout the last years, she has been working as Hebrew and Spanish teacher at the same university.
The study of Judeo-Spanish versions of literary classics, despite its importance for several interdisciplinary research fields, has still a long way ahead. Thus, the purpose of this project is to contribute to its development by the analysis of three versions in aljamía of The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, as an example of the Sephardic literary production during the nineteenth and twentieth century, with a focus on secular literary works. Two of the versions that are the subject of this study were part of a serial publication within Sephardic newspapers, one in Thessaloniki in 1881 and the other in Constantinople in 1900. The third one appeared in 1923, also in Constantinople, as a complete version of the novel.
The project, which is the core of Kacprzak’s doctoral dissertation, has been divided in three main parts. First, the three extant versions were transcribed for the first time into Latin script in order to make them more accessible to scholars not familiar with the aljamia. The second part, which is a work-in-progress, will collate and compare the three versions through a textual and linguistic approach. Finally, the three versions will be compared to the original text by Daniel Defoe. The research will as well include a theoretical foreword on general aspects of adapted literally genres, which will be the basis of the case study.