Spring 2012 Featured Class:
The Theory and Art of
Translating Classical Literature
Dr. John Given
We all know that it is preferable to read Classical literature in the original Latin and Greek. Because of this, we often see translations as utilitarian stopgaps when we do not have the time or ability to read the original language. Yet, translation is an art form unto itself. It may have many different purposes and take many different forms. This seminar will study translations of Greek and Latin texts. We will theorize the practice of translation by considering, e.g., the place of the translator in the act of literary communication or what is the role of faithfulness in the translation process. We will compare different translations of the same texts to discover the translators' practices and preferences. We will study translations to evaluate their literary merit, their ideological biases and their implicit purposes. The ideal student for this course will have enough Greek or Latin to compare translations to original texts, but this is not strictly necessary.