(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|
|Official Date:||October 2011|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies|
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