• An English Paraphrase of Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski’s Ode Lyr. I 15 Published in the Time After the Battle of Vienna

    Krzysztof Fordonski (see profile)
    Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski
    Poetry--Translating, Translating and interpreting, English literature, English literature--Early modern
    Item Type:
    Neo-Latin literature, Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski, Translation of poetry, Translation, Early modern English literature
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    The article presents and analyses Ode the 15th of the First Book of Casimire imitated, encouraging the Polish Knights after their last Conquest to proceed in their Victory, a little known anonymous English paraphrase of Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski’s Neo-Latin ode Lyr. I 15 Cum Ladislaus, Poloniae princeps, fuso Osmano, Turcarum imperatore, victorem exercitum in hiberna reduceret. It shows both the historical context within which the original poem was written in 1621 as one of the so-called “turcyki”, i.e. poems exhorting Christian knights in their fight against the Turks, and the context within which the paraphrase was written and published immediately after the battle of Vienna (1683). It opens with a comment on the original poem and specifically deals with Sarbiewski’s departures from the description of the actual battle which were later skillfully employed by the English translator. Next, the volume in which the English poem appeared in 1685, Miscellany Poems and Translations by Oxford Hands is presented. A tentative attempt is made to establish the identity of the anonymous translator based on the available data concerning the place of publication and the editor of the volume, Anthony Stephens. Next, a detailed analysis shows how the anonymous translator transformed the poem originally celebrating the Polish victory at Chocim (1621) and Crown Prince Vladislaus IV Vasa into a poem celebrating the battle of Vienna (1683) and king John III Sobieski. The analysis concentrates quite exclusively on the differences between the original and the translation which resulted from the translator’s attempts to adapt the primary text to a new function in a different political situation. The question which the final paragraphs attempt to resolve is whether the text should be treated as a translation, or it is rather an adaptation or, to use a more contemporary word, a parody of Sarbiewski’s ode.
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    3 years ago
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