Translated Classics Around the Millennium: Vibrant Hybrids or Shattered Icons?
This chapter explores the paradox that translations of classical texts are necessary both because the texts are valuable and because they are inadequate and that therefore the translations ensure that the notion of ‘the classic’ is constantly being both reasserted and subverted. The discussion considers examples of overt and covert translation in the work of creative writers and scholarly translators, and demonstrates how translations can become hybrid texts that occupy new sites within and between cultures, transforming temporal and aesthetic relationships as well as provoking resistance and conflict. The impact of recent classical translations in poetry and theatre shows there is a continuing central and catalytic role for Greek and Roman texts. However, this activity challenges some traditional formulations of classical genealogies and values, and requires models of translation theory that conceptualise dialogue and exchange rather than emphasising invasion and violence.
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