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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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Erotic Translation

Erotic Translation

(p.136) 16 Erotic Translation
The Poetry of Translation

Matthew Reynolds

Oxford University Press

‘Translation‐as‐desire’ can mutate into ‘translation as fantasy’: this occurs when the translator's imagination is frustrated by the source with the result that he (this is a predominantly masculine mode) goes off into a dream of his own. The mode flourishes in translations of romance: I dwell on Fairfax's Tasso (1600), and give a counter example from translations of Petrarch in Charlotte Smith's Elegiac Sonnets (1784). But since translation‐as‐fantasy has its main root in the translator's feelings rather than in the source text it leads beyond the boundaries of translation to enormously elaborative responses like Leigh Hunt's The Story of Rimini (massively expanded from Dante's episode of Paoloa and Francesca) and Swinburne's reveries on Sappho.

Keywords:   desire, fantasy, Dryden, Theocritus, Fairfax, Tasso, Charlotte Smith, Petrarch, Sappho, Swinburne

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