The Author as Intimate

Matthew Reynolds

in The Poetry of Translation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605712
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731617 | DOI:
The Author as Intimate

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An obvious corollary to the metaphor of ‘translating an author’ was expressed by Lord Roscommon in his ‘Essay on Translated Verse’ (1684): ‘chuse an Author as you chuse a Friend’, an idea which owes something to the work of Katherine Philips. Pope and Dryden were both attracted by the metaphor of ‘translation as friendship’, but in neither of them did it take on the guiding force that the metaphor of ‘translation‐as‐opening’ had for Dryden. There are historical reasons for this; but it is more important that ‘friendship’ cannot answer to the intimacy of the act of translation, nor to the feeling that the author is always elusively absent. These characteristics give rise to the metaphor ‘translation‐as‐desire’: I illustrate this with a reading of Dryden's ‘Lucretius’.

Keywords: friend; desire; Roscommon; Dryden; Philips; Alexander Pope; Thomas Francklin; Lucretius; Edward FitzGerald; Florence Untermeyer

Chapter.  3922 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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