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The Augustan Art of Poetry

Augustan Translation of the Classics

The Augustan Art of Poetry
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The first comparative study of its kind, The Augustan Art of Poetry uses translations to explore the artistic influence of the Roman poetry of the Augustan age upon English neoclassical poetry. The book foregrounds the artistry of central texts such as Dryden's translation of Virgil and Pope's Homer. Comparisons are also made with modern versions. - ;While previous studies have concentrated largely upon political concerns, The Augustan Art of Poetry is an exploration of the influence of the Roman Augustan aesthetic on English neo-classical poets of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. At the conclusion of his translation of Virgil, Dryden claims implicitly to have given English poetry the kind of refinement in language and style that Virgil had given the Latin. In this timely new study Robin Sowerby offers a strong

apologia for the fine artistry of the Augustans, concentrating in particular on the period's translations, a topic and method not hitherto ventured in any full-length comparative study. The mediation of the Augustan aesthetic is explored through the De Arte Poetica of Vida represented in the Augustan version

of Pitt, and its culmination is represented by examination of Dryden's Virgil in relation to predecessors. The effect of the Augustan aesthetic upon versions of silver Latin poets and upon Pope's Homer is also assessed and comparisons are drawn with modern translations. - ;Sowerby's performance is exemplary:his belief in the validity of an English Augustan aesthetic, and in the excellence of its best products, shines forth on every page of this earnest study. - James A. Winn, Translation and Literature;a stimulating book, richly crammed with matter...a major contribution to the study of literary translation. - John Talbot, Essays in Criticism;He has argued his case well. - Contemporary Review, Volume 288;...this is an important study of literary translations - Michael J. Franklin, MLR, 103.1

Oxford University Press, UK; January 2006
379 pages; ISBN 9780191515958
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