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Virgil and his Translators$
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Susanna Braund and Zara Martirosova Torlone

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198810810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198810810.001.0001

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‘Only a Poet Can Translate True Poetry’

‘Only a Poet Can Translate True Poetry’

The Translation of Aeneid 2 by Giacomo Leopardi

Chapter:
(p.305) 20 ‘Only a Poet Can Translate True Poetry’
Source:
Virgil and his Translators
Author(s):

Giampiero Scafoglio

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198810810.003.0021

This chapter’s exploration of Giacomo Leopardi’s translation of the Aeneid tackles one of the most debated dilemmas in translation practice: whether or not one has to be a poet in order to translate poetry. Having undertaken the daunting task of translating the Aeneid, Leopardi shows himself to be a good philologist and, at the same time, also comes into his own poetic vocation as his translation progresses. The result of his translation is an impressive achievement, Scafoglio argues, a work that combines literary faithfulness to the original with the rendering of the expressive musicality and elusive fascination of Virgilian verse in Italian.

Keywords:   Giacomo Leopardi, Aeneid Book 2, philological work, poetic translation, aesthetic sensitivity

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