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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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Pope's Iliad: the ‘Hurry of Passion’

Pope's Iliad: the ‘Hurry of Passion’

(p.172) 19 Pope's Iliad: the ‘Hurry of Passion’
The Poetry of Translation

Matthew Reynolds

Oxford University Press

Pope, too, was swept away by a text he was translating: not a romance, but the Iliad. The passion that affected him was primarily heroic rather than amorous, and is figured (after Boileau's translation of Longinus (1674)) as the spreading of sublime ‘fire’. This metaphor of translation is evident in particular stylistic features such as the ‘super‐adding’ of similes; as we have come to expect it grows in complexity when Pope is translating moments in the source when warriors give fiery inspiration to one another. For Pope, the massacres of the Iliad find a miniature echo in his own self‐abnegation when he translates.

Keywords:   Pope, Homer, Boileau, sublime, fire, passion, simile

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