Translation As Muse: Poetic Translation In Catullus's Rome

Hardcover | September 5, 2015

byElizabeth Marie Young

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Poetry is often said to resist translation, its integration of form and meaning rendering even the best translations problematic. Elizabeth Marie Young disagrees, and with Translation as Muse, she uses the work of the celebrated Roman poet Catullus to mount a powerful argument that translation can be an engine of poetic invention.

Catullus has long been admired as a poet, but his efforts as a translator have been largely ignored. Young reveals how essential translation is to his work: many poems by Catullus that we tend to label as lyric originals were in fact shaped by Roman translation practices entirely different from our own. By rereading Catullus through the lens of translation, Young exposes new layers of ingenuity in Latin poetry even as she illuminates the idiosyncrasies of Roman translation practice, reconfigures our understanding of translation history, and questions basic assumptions about lyric poetry itself.

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From the Publisher

Poetry is often said to resist translation, its integration of form and meaning rendering even the best translations problematic. Elizabeth Marie Young disagrees, and with Translation as Muse, she uses the work of the celebrated Roman poet Catullus to mount a powerful argument that translation can be an engine of poetic invention. Catu...

Elizabeth Marie Young is assistant professor of classical studies and the Knafel Assistant Professor of Humanities at Wellesley College, where she also teaches in the comparative literature program.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:September 5, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022627991X

ISBN - 13:9780226279916

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction    Finding Catullus in Translation

1   The Task of Translation in Catullus
2   Excavating the Poetic Emporium: Material and Cultural Capital in the Polymetrics
3   Catullus 4 and the Demographics of Late Republican Alexandrianism
4   Intimate Acts of Reading: Imitation and Self-Expression in the Translation Prefaces (50 and 65)
5   Constructing Callimachus
6   Surpassing the Gods: Infatuation and Agonism in Catullus’ Sappho (51)

Epilogue         Toward a Poetics of Lyric Appropriation

Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Translation as Muse presents a new theoretical model of Roman translation practice in which drastic alteration of the original in an attempt to outdo it (aemulatio) is the motive force behind literary creation. Tracing Catullus’s part in culturally appropriating the Greek past through radical revision of his source texts, Young produces provocative metapoetic readings of familiar works. Critics should welcome this volume as a major contribution to both Catullan scholarship and translation studies.”