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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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Interpretation and ‘Opening’: Dryden, Chapman, and Early Translations from the Bible

Interpretation and ‘Opening’: Dryden, Chapman, and Early Translations from the Bible

(p.73) 9 Interpretation and ‘Opening’: Dryden, Chapman, and Early Translations from the Bible
The Poetry of Translation

Matthew Reynolds

Oxford University Press

Lowell's ambivalences about translation and interpretation echo Dryden's; Dryden's echo George Chapman in his translation of the Iliad where he talks of using poetry to ‘open’ poetry. ‘Open’ had been a key word in translations of the Bible: I trace it back through the Authorized Version, Coverdale, the Wycliffites, to Richard Rolle who translated the Psalms in the early fourteenth century. On the one hand, a translation of the Bible should ‘open’ it to understanding; on the other, ‘opening’ is felt to be something more interventionist than ‘translation’ should really be. Translators tried to get out of this bind by distinguishing conceptually and typographically between translation proper and supplementary writing, or ‘expounynge;’ but—as I show—the distinction kept breaking down.

Keywords:   opening, interpretation, translation, Bible, John Dryden, George Chapman, Miles Coverdale, Richard Rolle, Wycliffites

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