Sederi Yearbook 22

Sederi 22
Sederi 22 — 2012
Berta Cano Echevarría & Ana Sáez-Hidalgo
Francisco J. Borge López
ISSN 1135-7789


Rocío G. Sumillera, “Poetic invention and translation in sixteenth-century England.” SEDERI 20 (2010): 93-114.


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This article investigates the connection between the all-important concept of invention within the literary terminology of sixteenth-century England and the perception of translation during this period. Invention is discussed as a concept in transition during the sixteenth century, as it was then still associated with the rhetorical notion of “finding” within a topical system, while new shades of meaning closer to imagination, fantasy, fancy and wit started to become dominant even in rhetorical contexts. Invention was deemed in the sixteenth century a necessary ingredient for outstanding poetry, and yet it was assumed to be absent from the work of the translator, whose role was solely to copy the invention of the source text. This article claims that the lack of invention in translations (or rather, the mere following of the invention of the translated text) was the main reason why translations were invariably regarded as minor achievements as compared to their source texts.

Keywords: Invention; Renaissance English and French poetics; Renaissance translation; imitation.




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