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Tradition, Translation, TraumaThe Classic and the Modern$
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Jan Parker and Timothy Mathews

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199554591.001.0001

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Proemion

Proemion

Translating a Paean of Praise

Chapter:
(p.29) Proemion
Source:
Tradition, Translation, Trauma
Author(s):

Frederick Ahl

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199554591.003.0003

This chapter presents the author’s account of the challenges of translating works such as the Odyssey and the Aeneid. It argues that a translator’s first concern in translating a famous Classical poem is not loyalty to original wording, but conformity with the consensus interpretation. The second is to simplify or remove ‘unnecessary complexities’ — a duty interpreted broadly if poetry is, as some believe, over-elaborated prose that can be pruned without loss.

Keywords:   Aeneid, Odyssey, translation, epic poetry, translators

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