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Dido's pug, chocolate Elysium and Aeneas made of butter: travesties of Virgil's Aeneid

Date & Time:
October 13, 2017 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Location:
SS 541
Speaker:
Dr. Susanna Braund, University of British Columbia

I will examine a strange phenomenon in the reception of Virgil which generates travesties of the Aeneid. Starting in Italian (Lalli, 1634), this impulse spreads to French (Scarron, 1648 onwards) and English (Cotton, 1664 onwards). From the late eighteenth century there is a popular German travesty by the Austrian poet Blumauer (1782 onwards), which in turn influences the travesties in Russian (Osipov, 1791-96), Ukrainian (Kotlyarevsky, 1798-1808), Polish (Chotomski, 1818) and Belarusian (Rovinskii, 1820s). These travesties form an interlaced nexus which represent an especially marked form of 'domestication', to use translation theorist Lawrence Venuti's terminology, in which the foreign epic is relocated into and appropriated for native folkloric traditions. The six examples I shall present display a range of appropriations and attitudes towards the original Latin text.

Susanna Braund moved to the University of British Columbia in 2007 to take up a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Latin Poetry and its Reception after teaching previously at Stanford University, Yale University, and the Universities of London, Bristol and Exeter in the UK.  She received her BA (1978) and PhD (1984) from the University of Cambridge. She has published extensively on Roman satire and Latin epic poetry among other aspects of Latin literature. She has translated Lucan for the Oxford World's Classics series, Persius and Juvenal for the Loeb Classical Library and Seneca's tragedies. She has published eleven books and about fifty articles and chapters and she has edited or co-edited a further six books. She was awarded a Medal as a Visiting Scholar at the Collège de France in 2014 and a Killam Research Fellowship in the 2016 national competition for her major project 'Virgil Translated'.

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