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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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Constructing Callimachus

Constructing Callimachus

(p.139) 5 Constructing Callimachus
Translation as Muse

Elizabeth Marie Young

University of Chicago Press

This chapter looks at how Catullus 66 (the Lock of Berenice or Coma Berenices), along with is preface and the set of elegies that follow, creates the very source it appears to replicate. Despite its apparent fidelity to its Callimachean source, this translation constructs a version of the Greek text and its author that serves the needs of its Roman translator. When viewed in the context of Catullus’s collection, this translation fragments and reframes its source along with Callimachus’s Aetia, the celebrated poetic book it came from. This technique is entirely in keeping with Roman translation norms which insist that literary translators make their sources their own. Catullus 66, its preface and the elegies that follow refashion Callimachus’s Plokamos into a distinctly Catullan document and Callimachus himself into an archetypal elegist and the forefather of Catullus’s variation on the genre of Roman elegy.

Keywords:   Catullus 66, Lock of Berenice, Coma Berenices, Constructs, Aetia, poetic book, Plokamos, Callimachus, elegy, elegist

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