Dante and the Romantics by Antonella Braida (auth.)

By Antonella Braida (auth.)

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Among the damned, for instance, Dante reserves this treatment for Brunetto Latini, 48 Dante and the Romantics Ulysses, Guido da Montefeltro, Farinata degli Uberti and Ugolino della Gherardesca. ’ I began, ‘who to the west ‘Through perils without number now have reach’d; ‘To this the short remaining watch, that yet ‘Our senses have to wake, refuse not proof ‘Of the unpeopled world, following the track ‘Of Phoebus. Call to mind from whence ye sprang; ‘Ye were not form’d to live the life of brutes, ‘But virtue to pursue and knowledge high’.

67 These approaches demonstrate the essential ambiguity of Cary’s position. As Crisafulli points out, The Vision both confirms and contradicts Venuti’s broad category of translators’ ‘invisibility’: first, Cary’s large use of critical paratexts highlights the translator’s critical and translating practice; secondly, and more importantly, Cary’s practice of domestication is less striking when set against the contemporary expectations of a translation’s conformity to contemporary literary norms. Cary’s paratexts, and in particular his prefaces are significant in understanding his perception of his role as cultural mediator.

By comparison Cary’s blank verse stands out as being a conservative choice motivated by his desire to produce a version closer to the recent tradition of the English narrative poem and of the English epic as represented by Paradise Lost. In light of the importance of translations in defining and representing translation theories, Cary had one important precursor: the Revd Henry Boyd. 20 They affirmed further that ‘the dullness of Dante is often enlivened by Mr. 21 Tinkler-Villani was the first to praise the translation in modern times.

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