The <i>Metamorphoses</i> of Arthur Golding

Matthew Reynolds

in The Poetry of Translation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605712
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731617 | DOI:
The Metamorphoses of Arthur Golding

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Metamorphosis is an obvious metaphor for translation. But in fact it is so multifarious that translators have generally eschewed it. Nevertheless, Arthur Golding's translation of the Metamorphoses (1567) fleetingly adopts particular metamorphoses as metaphors for its own behaviour: it echoes Echo, interprets Deucalion's interpretation of an oracle, and so on. In this, it anticipates the more disciplined and extensive metaphors of translation that I have explored in the bulk of the book. Yet, to interpret a metamorphosis as the embodiment of a metaphor is to simplify it; to interpret a translation as the embodiment of a metaphor is a simplification too. Golding's Ovid vividly exemplifies what is true of all the translations I have discussed: the imaginative work done by a poem‐translation will always exceed the explanatory categories that are brought to bear on it—even the comparatively nuanced and complex metaphorical categories which I have proposed.

Keywords: Arthur Golding; Dryden; Ovid; metamorphosis; Charles Tomlinson; Echo; Narcissus; Philomel; Daphne; conclusion

Chapter.  9051 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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