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The Classics in Modernist Translation

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

A New Book featuring ‘Meeting' (The Three Graces) by Manierre Dawson on the cover.


This volume sheds new light on a wealth of early 20th-century engagement with literature of Graeco-Roman antiquity that significantly shaped the work of anglophone literary modernism. The essays spotlight 'translation,' a concept the modernists themselves used to reckon with the Classics and to denote a range of different kinds of reception – from more literal to more liberal translation work, as well as forms of what contemporary reception studies would term 'adaptation', 'refiguration' and 'intervention.'

As the volume's essays reveal, modernist 'translations' of Classical texts crucially informed the innovations of many modernists and often themselves constituted modernist literary projects. Thus the volume responds to gaps in both Classical reception and Modernist studies: essays treat a comparatively understudied area in Classical reception by reviving work in a subfield of Modernist studies relatively inactive in recent decades but enjoying renewed attention through the recent work of contributors to this volume.

The volume's essays address work significantly informed by Classical materials, including Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Sappho, Ovid, and Propertius, and approach a range of modernist writers: Pound and H.D., among the modernists best known for work engaging the Classics, as well as Cummings, Eliot, Joyce, Laura Riding, and Yeats.



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