Isla, José Francisco de (hōsāˈ fränthēˈskō dā ēˈslä) [key], 1703–81, Spanish Jesuit preacher and writer. Enormously precocious, he took his law degree at 11. Isla's fame rests on the satirical novel Historia del famoso predicador Fray Gerundio de Campazas (1758, tr. 1772), which was banned by the Inquisition. In this account of the exploits of an ignorant preacher, he attacked the pedantry of pulpit eloquence. Isla's translation of Le Sage's picaresque novel Gil Blas is well known.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.