no longer care about these stray indents

January 13, 2010

Translation Theory notes from Jan. 13, 2010

notes 1-13-10
epistemics of knowledge/knowledge and capital
210 Hum 1 at noon
Lesson 3

The return of the Homeric Question
>D’Aubignac, Bentley
>>question of WHETHER to transl. Homer: French say no
~~~rather: learn Ancient Greek ’til like 1928
~~~WG went to French HS, transl Homer into Latin & mem.
>>English say yes: could track history based thereupon
~~~never rest with translation but do it over and over
>Giambattista Vico: Scienza Nuova (1725)
~~prof law & phil & rhetoric @ Naples
~~critique of Descartes et al: phil w/ lang.
~~Homer represents uniting of people to formulate cultural artifacts; Homer is name for all greeks who put together those texts (German romantics will)
>Friedrich August Wolf. 1795. Prolegomena ad Homerum
~~first to reg at German Uni as student of philology
**{I am what I study}
>>Altertumswissenchaft; G. von Humboldt and the University of Berlin
~~~separation of Letters into Lit and History resulted in drownings wtf
~~~question of who was Homer in historical context (historicized scholarship)
~~~science of ancient things
~~~>in Prussia/Berlin (no Germany yet) importing intellectuals
~~~~>discussion of scholarship, invoking ancient texts
~~~~~first time reading Plato/Aristotle/Ancient thingies
~~~~~biggest headlines in newspapers (as opposed to silly Parisians and their silly king?)
~~~~~when discussions turned political king of Prussia got pissy; solution instead of censorship was to criticize translations- no settled frame of reference being invoked, but lots of different interpretations. King will fund chair and task force to produce critical edition of texts to defer wank
~~~~Nietzche wanted to go back to when classical texts were part of public debate
~~~>classics vs lit: incl. archeology, etc, material things, culture, civilization; for Wolf Homer is emergent in that kind of thing; “the Homeric world”
~~>Univ of Berlin as model for US unis: 1st=John Hopkins
~~~Uni of culture (what does that even mean, he won’t tell us); survived until 1980s, replaced by uni of “excellence” ^A regime that is based upon the distortion of the meaning of words.^
~~~~term introduced ^Stanford is usually where bad things happen. Stanford invented behavioral sciences, Stanford was the first university to sign contracts with the military, stanford invented “excellence.” You start with a robber-baron, you know…. Other than that it’s a perfectly fine place. Good library. They even have some fine faculty.^
>Analysts Vs Unitarians
~~Analysts: identifying “original’ Homeric poem; eliminate later acritions
~~~comparability in field, Homeric text absorbed; had to purge that stuff.
~~Unit.: explaining how whole text hung together
>>Nitzsch (not to be confused w/ Nietzche)

Orality and Transcription
>Milman Parry
~~not trained as classicist
~~composed orally at first then transcribed after circulation “pre-literate”
>Albert Lord. 1960. The Singer of Tales
~~student of Parry
~~based on field research in Bosnia-area
~~~still ppl who could recite epic poems, illit.
~~~>1 poem for three days woooooo
~~~~^whenever a man like that dies a library disappears^
~~~~in Renn people employed to go to play, memorize, then transcribe and sell books under someone else’s name
~~~~>Harold Bloom does this? ~5k books, own publishing house, remembers everything he’s read. Terrorized students on doctoral exam. Had read “all the poems in the English langauge” lol okay. Student wrote his own poem, walked out, lollllll okay. Started memorizing Freud possibly just to annoy WG, lies down on his back and writes in magic marker on large legal pads, remembers everything incl bibliograph info. could find text to incl in anthology, just recited it when they couldn’t find it en la biblioteca. He missed 2 words omg. “It means that you can memorize things. Just think of all the useless stuff that you’ve memorized.”
>>Oral formulas:
~~~has its own rules yay linguistics finally
>>>Eos rhododaktylos
~~~~rosy-fingered dawn
>>>oinops pontos
~~~~wine-colored sea
~~~epithets characteristic of oral composition, have stock of them to produce as needed; don’t necessarily know word-for-word but know in units
>>Serb-language guslars of Bosnia- Herzegovina
>Homer and the writing of Greek
~~alphabet based on syllabery from semitic system
~~many willing to argue that H is 1st text written in grk
~~~suggests that writing of greek starts with masterpiece
~~~most literary histories would claim this actually 🙂
>Gregory Nagy
~~claiming written down around Alexandria

Homer and Early Translation
>”The Matter of Homer”
~~”matter” = way of describing corpus with thematic connectedness
~~did not talk about individual texts, but more the lit. milieux w/ plots/themes/stock tales
>>Medieval “matter”
>>>matter of Homer
>>> ” of Alexander
>>> ” of Rome
>>> ” of Brittany: Celtic, Arthurian
>>Seege of Troy
~~~Iliad + poetic license
>>Chaucer: Troilus and Criseyde (1385)
~~~via Boccacio from Latin of Homer from someone else?
>>John Lydgate (?1370-1452): Troy Book
~~~more characteristic of middle ages than ancient
>>Caxton: Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (1475)
~> considered form of translation; no concept of Author or Text, but more concept of Auctor
>>Homer as “author”
>>>auctor, auctoritats
>>Plot as “trame”

One comment

  1. […] Wednesday, there was a bus-missing incident between Bonny Doon and campus, and my housemates and I ended up hiking five miles through the muddy redwood forest to get to class. I was an hour early, they were an hour late, we were all sort of damp and bedraggled. I also managed to step into a bog and get soaked to the knees, and frankly I’m proud that I made it to that class at all. […]

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