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Seamus Heaney and the ClassicsBann Valley Muses$
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Stephen Harrison, Fiona Macintosh, and Helen Eastman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805656.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2019

Paving and Pencilling

Paving and Pencilling

Heaney’s Inscriptions in J. W. Mackail’s Translation of the Aeneid

(p.223) 14 Paving and Pencilling
Seamus Heaney and the Classics

Edith Hall

Oxford University Press

A distant relative of an in-law of my husband possesses Heaney’s own copy of the 1953 reprint of J. W. Mackail’s The Aeneid of Virgil Translated into English; Heaney signed it with his name (twice) and his school form number. This chapter considers the actual inscriptions to be found in this copy, which show for example that Heaney made a special study of the similes dealing with nature, especially with animals, and was interested in complex epithets and metal objects, especially weapons. The characters who attract the richest annotations by far are Turnus, Pallas, and Latinus. It then asks how these marginalia can illuminate aspects of his later poetry—technical, tonal, lexical, imagistic, and thematic. His possible later creative responses to two features of the Aeneid will receive extended attention. First, the father–son relationship; secondly, the ‘compensation’ for the death of Turnus in the form of the Italian people’s retention of their indigenous language despite the imposition of Trojan colonial rule.

Keywords:   Heaney, Mackail, Virgil, translation, annotation

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