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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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Heaney as Translator

Heaney as Translator

Horace and Virgil

(p.244) 15 Heaney as Translator
Seamus Heaney and the Classics

Stephen Harrison

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks in detail at Heaney’s considerable competence in Latin as shown in his translations of Virgil and Horace. It moves from some early Horatian versions through the versions of Virgilian pastoral in Electric Light (2001), exploring the full range of verbal engagement with a Latin text, through the Horace version of ‘Anything Can Happen’ in District and Circle (2006) to the posthumous version of the whole of Virgil’s Aeneid VI (2016). Where the evidence is available, it scrutinises the detailed choices made by Heaney in consecutive drafts, and assesses his considerable gifts in rendering formal and elevated Latin poetry readable for a modern audience in a form which is both dignified and natural.

Keywords:   Heaney, Horace, Virgil, Eclogues, Aeneid, translation, adaptation

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