Inferno translations comparison discussion post

TWO 450-500 words post

Write two discussion post comparing the different translations of Inferno. (each post should include all translation comparison). Please be specific and quote words and sentences when analyzing.

1. Translations of Inferno

While reading these translations try to take note of these three categories to help characterize them:

Language: What kind of language does the translator use in their translation?  Is it high/low, or a mix (as in Dante) is it easy to read or difficult, etc.  take note of specific moments whenever possible.

Poetry: How has the translator chosen to represent Dante’s poetry?  Have they attempted to reproduce his prosody, or made up their own approach?

Intervention/Interpretation: Do you see moments in which the translator is making a choice that seems to differ from what we’ve read in Durling?

Inf. Canto 1; Henry Francis Cary (1814) (Links to an external site.)

Inf. Canto 5; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1867)

2. Foundational Statements in Translation Theory

In lecture over the next three weeks I will also give an overview of approaches to translating poetry more generally, to give some context for our discussions of Dante in translation.  We will start with some (short) foundational statements about translating poetry.

John Dryden, “From the Preface to Ovid’s Epistles”  (attached in files)


Roman Jakobson, “On Linguistic Aspects of Translation”Preview the document

Both Dryden and Jakobson put forward schematic definitions of different kinds of translation; I will go over them in lecture but as you are reading pay attention to the terms they propose. 

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