(Re)-constructing Homer : English translations of the Iliad and Odyssey between 1850 and 1950
Yoon, Sun Kyoung (2011) (Re)-constructing Homer : English translations of the Iliad and Odyssey between 1850 and 1950. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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This thesis seeks to investigate how translation is influenced by the translator's contexts, dealing with English translations of Homer between 1850 and 1950. English versions of the Iliad and Odyssey by eight translators from different periods are examined chronologically in their historical contexts, with reference to social, political and ideological circumstances. My methodology involves making use of translators' metatexts and other types of texts in combination with comparison of the translated texts. The debate between Matthew Arnold and Francis Newman reveals conflicting ideologies in the nineteenth century: the former committed to promoting a noble template for his society, the latter seeking to reproduce with exacting standards what he perceived as the true peculiarity of the poet. This ideological opposition is reflective of the intrinsic link between translators' interpretations of Homer and attitudes toward translation, and the Victorian age, in social, ideological and political terms. The thesis continues with two more Victorian translators William Morris and J. S. Blackie, focusing on the practice of archaism. Morris translated the Odyssey within a widespread movement of medieval revival. The same applies to Blackie's translation of the Iliad, but his medievalism was connected to the issue of Scottish identity. They idealised history and expressed their vision literalistically through archaising. The focus then changes to examine modernist versions of the Odyssey by Ezra Pound and H. D. Their fragmentary translations were good examples of the modernist project to achieve novelty and originality. Homer represented 'tradition' to engage with in order to pursue the ambition to, in Pound's famous expression, 'make it new'. The modernists took translation as an implement for revisiting the literary tradition. Lastly, this thesis explores mid-twentieth century prose translations by E. V. Rieu and I. A. Richards. Influenced by the egalitarianism of mid-twentieth-century Britain, they attempted to make their translations accessible to everyone. These translations of Homer were targeted at the 'general reader', and for that purpose, Rieu and Richards transformed Homer's originals into novels.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Homer. Iliad -- Translations into English -- History and criticism, Homer. Odyssey -- Translations into English -- History and criticism|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies|
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