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The Poetry of TranslationFrom Chaucer & Petrarch to Homer & Logue$
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Matthew Reynolds

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605712.001.0001

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Dryden's Aeneis: ‘a thousand secret beauties’

Dryden's Aeneis: ‘a thousand secret beauties’

(p.101) 12 Dryden's Aeneis: ‘a thousand secret beauties’
The Poetry of Translation

Matthew Reynolds

Oxford University Press

In later critical writing, Dryden developed the idea that his translations could reveal what was ‘secretly in’ the source poet. The poet with the most secrets was Virgil: they included prophetic relevance to future times and (most importantly) the sparks of illocutionary force created by his style. I illustrate Dryden's practice of opening with a discussion of Book 10. I go on to show that Dryden's awareness of himself as ‘opening’ these secrets takes on a particular edge at times when there is the possibility of a secret being opened in the source text—for instance in Book 2 when Laocoon almost discovers the Greek warriors hidden in the wooden horse, or when Anchises interprets an omen.

Keywords:   opening, secret, prophecy, illocutionary force, Virgil, Aeneid, Dryden, Laocoon, Anchises, fate

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