'Translated Verse': Milton's Latin Poetry in the Long Eighteenth Century

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This chapter assesses ways in which the emergence in the long eighteenth century of a cluster of verse translations of Milton’s Poemata engendered an intellectual discourse and debate on translation itself, not dissimilar to the magazine warfare of the day. It argues that poetical renderings of Milton’s Latin verse, and the biographical and literary contexts in which they appeared, facilitated the interrogation of key issues that are still being debated by modern translation theorists: the nature and function of translation; the viability of rendering a source text in a target language that is also in this instance a poetic language; the potential ‘fetters’ which, in Drydenesque terms, might constrain ‘the verbal copier’; or by contrast the quasi-liberating fluency, the ‘fluent strategy’, attendant upon recourse to verse as translational medium; canonicity, amplification and omission; the much-debated issue of authorial equivalence, evinced here, it is suggested, by the editorial showcasing of the translator; and not least, the perennial question of translation as reading and critical interpretation. In short, verse renderings of Milton’s Latin poetry and the debates that they engendered assume a not inconsequential place in the history of translation theory, which, as Venuti notes, is forever concerned with ‘the changing relationships between the relative autonomy of the translated text and two other categories: equivalence and function.’

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMilton in Translation: Theory and Practice: Winner of the Irene Samuel Memorial Award of the Milton Society of America
EditorsJonathan Olson, Angelica Duran, Islam Issa
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages75-91
Number of pages17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Jul 2017

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