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Translation as MusePoetic Translation in Catullus's Rome$
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Elizabeth Marie Young

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226279916

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226280080.001.0001

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Intimate Acts of Reading

Intimate Acts of Reading

Imitation and Self-Expression in the Translation Prefaces (50 and 65)

(p.116) 4 Intimate Acts of Reading
Translation as Muse

Elizabeth Marie Young

University of Chicago Press

The fourth chapter argues that Catullus harnesses the intimacy of first person poetic translation as a powerfully transformative tool that facilitates his elaboration of novel voicings and postures. This argument is made through a reading of two poems (Catullus 50 and Catullus 65) that serve as preludes to the two full translations in the surviving collection. Both preface poems abound in features derived from the translations they were written to introduce. Each preface applies the voice, postures and affect displayed by the speakers in the translation that follows to intensify the emotion of their first person Catullan speaker. The result is the miser poeta (“wretched poet”), a new kind of poetic persona that had not yet been seen in Latin literature but would shape the development of Latin love poetry thereafter.

Keywords:   intimacy, transformative, Catullus 50, Catullus 65, voice, emotion, first person, miser poeta, persona, preface

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