Review of new Pleiade edition of Vergil. LATOMUS 76, 3 (2017): 793-800.

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Virgile. Œuvres complètes. Traductions nouvelles ou révisées. Édition et trad. du latin par Jeanne Dion, Philippe Heuzé et Alain Michel. Édition bilingue, Paris, Gallimard, 2015 (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 603), 17 × 10,5 cm, 1488 p., 68 €, ISBN 978-20701-1684-3.

Surprisingly, a number of famous authors have preceded Vergil’s entrance into the prestigious French Pléiade publication series (founded in 1931) – from Balzac and Lewis Carroll to Shakespeare and Faulkner, from Pliny to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Melville, and from Virginia Woolf to Henry James, Jane Austen and Émile Zola. This is a startling state of affairs for a 2000-year old “ardent and mettlesome” poet. This is especially so considering that a French translation of the Aeneid has appeared about every seven years since the 1509 Octavien de Saint-Gelais version (counting from Vergil’s death, it has been asserted that there are some 1500 translations of the Aeneid all told). 1 Several French reviews, some rather breezy, have signaled the appearance of the new volume, which – principally because of the facing translation – one writer called a “democratization” of Virgil. 2 The present work marks Vergil’s first appearance in the heady, leather-bound realm: it contains a new edition and translation for the Eclogues and Aeneid, a revised text (and translation) of the Georgics, along with the attributed Appendix Vergiliana, witness to the Roman poet’s unprecedented posterity. A very real bonus is the inclusion of the text and translation of the Life of Vergil by donatus. In the interests of brevity, however, what will occupy us in the following pages is the translation of the Aeneid only. Focusing chiefly on the aesthetic aims and accomplishments of each version, I have chosen, somewhat arbitrarily, seven passages to consider, drawing for comparison on Perret’s 1977 standard Budé version. 3 By scrutinizing the two versions, and in light of the Latin itself, a critical judgment can be made as to the fidelity, elegance or appropriateness of one or the other. In W. S. Anderson’s words, we should focus “on their preconceptions and achievements as responsible interpretations of the Latin original.” 4 The feel of the Perret is simply, at times, somewhat old fashioned (perhaps why

1 See Philippe HeuZé, “La Fortune de Virgile”, p. xlix; also Catherine Frammery, “Virgile, jeune poète fougueux de 2000 ans” [ 85ae4d12-3249-11e5-903f-511fc5349148/Virgile_jeune_po%C3%A8te_fougueux_ de_2000_ans], consulted 23 June 2017. 2 See Gilbert Salem, “L’auteur de l’« Énéide » démocratisé par la Pléiade” [http://], consulted 23 June 2017. In his review, Libération essayist Mathieu linDon, “Virgile et l’Énéide, une épopée éditoriale,” cleverly finds reference to Vergil’s Aeneid by Astérix le Gaulois worthy of discussion [ une-epopee-editoriale_1342876], consulted 23 June 2017. 3 Jacques Perret (trans.), Virgile, Énéide, Paris, 1991; originally issued in three volumes (with Latin text) by the Association Guillaume Budé, 1977-1980; 1981, 1987, 1989. Readers may wish to consult as well the controversial (some say eccentric) translation by Pierre KloSSowSKi, Paris, 1964. Here is a brief excerpt (1.1-7): “Les armes je célèbre et l’homme qui le premier des Troyennes rives / en Italie, par la fatalité fugitif, est venu au Lavinien / littoral : longtemps celui-là sur les terres jeté rejeté sur le flot / de toute la violence des suprêmes dieux, tant qu’à sévir persista / Junon dans sa rancune durement eut aussi de la guerre à souffrir, devant qu’il ne fondât / la ville et n’importât ses dieux dans le Latium ; d’où la race Latine / et les Albains nos pères, d’où enfin de l’altière cité les murs.” For more on the reviewer’s approach to translation theory, see The Methods of Medieval Translators: A Comparison of the Latin Text of Virgil’s Aeneid with its Old French Adaptations, Lewiston, NY / Lampeter, Wales, 2011, a monograph that incorporates interdisciplinary strategies borrowed from hermeneutics, cognitive psychology, second-language acquisition pedagogy, philosophical pragmatics (Relevance Theory) and hermeneutics; cf. also p. 257-274 (bibliography of French translations of the Aeneid, 1160-1983). 4 William S. anDerSon, Five Hundred Years of Rendering the Aeneid in English, in Christine G. PerKell (ed.), Reading Vergil’s Aeneid: An Interpretive Guide, Norman, OK, 1999, p. 285-302, part. 287.

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I favor it, just as I prefer C. day Lewis’s english rendering). 5 The Pléiade, as I note here and there, often verging on colloquialism, attempts too often to modernize or just flatten the classic. As Romm observes about Green’s new Iliad translation, the occasional offtone or false note are distracting. 6 If the verbal harmony, lyric glitter and variety of tempo of Vergil’s poetry are often missing in Perret’s version, it is almost entirely absent in the new execution. What constitutes a “good” translation is, of course, a vexed topic, even more so with an incandescent body of poetry like that of Vergil. Readers will get a taste of the Pléiade text and its relationship to Perret’s standard from the extracts discussed here, regardless of my own personal responses. In these pages, the Latin text is cited after the new Pléiade edition itself. 1. As the surviving Trojans find themselves shipwrecked on the shores of Carthage, Aeneas’ famous speech of encouragement to his men (1.198-207) belies his own unspoken despair. Herewith the last five verses: ‘[…] forsan et haec olim meminisse iuuabit. / Per uarios casus, per tot discrimina rerum / tendimus in Latium, sedes ubi fata quietas / ostendunt; illic fas regna resurgere Troiae. / Durate et uosmet rebus seruate secundis.’ Talia uoce refert curisque ingentibus aeger / spem uoltu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem. Perret renders this: “‘[…P]eut-être de cela même nous sera-t-il doux quelque jour de nous souvenir. À travers bien des hasards, par tant de passes critiques nous avançons vers le Latium où les destins nous montrent de paisibles demeures ; là-bas peut renaître le royaume de Troie. Restez fermes, gardez-vous pour les jours du bonheur’. Telles sont les paroles de sa bouche et, grevé d’inquiétudes sans mesure, il fait paraître l’espoir sur son visage, contient dans son cœur une souffrance profonde.” The Pléiade version has: ‘[…] un jour, peut-être, même cela sera cher souvenir. Si nous traversons tant de hasards, tant de dangers, c’est pour aller vers le Latium où les destins nous montrent un séjour apaisé ; là il sera permis au royaume de Troie de renaître. Tenez bon et gardez-vous pour des temps meilleurs’. Voilà les mots qu’il prononce ; angoissé d’immenses soucis, il feint l’espoir sur son visage et réprime en son cœur sa souffrance profonde.” Perret’s “tant de passes critiques” appears ponderous; over and above the more fashionable dropping of definite articles, 7 the Pléiade take seems more economical, direct, and even punchy. Shall we say more “manly”? Still, I like Perret’s “jours du bonheur” – Fairclough’s “days of happiness” 8 – more than the just dull “temps meilleurs.” The Pléiade “il sera permis au royaume de Troie de renaître” is rather awkward compared to Perret’s version. Perret’s “grevé d’inquiétudes sans mesure” seems wordier
5 C. Day lewiS (trans.), The Aeneid of Virgil, New York, 1953. It is pleasant to note William S. anDerSon’s report (p. 286) on the influence of C. day Lewis’s early englishing: “For this era [World War II], the poem found its ideal translator and a fresh spirit in C. day Lewis and its first ideal medium in BBC radio. Lewis read successively, day after day, his version of Vergil’s twelve books, to which the hearts of the hard-pressed Britons, struggling to survive and hold firm against Hitler’s greatest successes and imminent threats, especially the heavy bombings of their island, deeply responded. The United States went through World War II with its own rhetoric, without the self-reflection that made Vergil and Lewis’s version strike such deep chords in england.” 6 James Romm, “Sing Wrath, Goddess – Or Maybe don’t: A review of Peter Green’s Iliad” [], consulted 23 June 2017. 7 It has been suggested to me, interestingly, that the dropped articles may be an attempt to imitate the Latin lack of definites. 8 Virgil, Eclogues. Georgics. Aeneid. Appendix Vergiliana, ed. and trans. H. R. FairClouGH, rev. G. P. GoolD, Cambridge, Mass. / London, 1999-2001, vol. 1, p. 254-255.

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than the Pléiade’s more poetic “angoissé d’immenses soucis,” although certainly “inquiétude” carries more conviction than the trifling “soucis.” Perret’s use of the factitive “il fait paraître” is paraphrastic, compared to the Pléiade “il feint l’espoir.” 2. The lacrimae rerum theme, so famous from Book 1, recurs in 3.488-491 when the throbbing words of Andromaque, spoken to Ascanius, evoke her lost child Astyanax as she offers him precious tokens for his travels across the sea. She sighs: Cape dona extrema tuorum, / o mihi sola mei super Astyanactis imago. / Sic oculos, sic ille manus, sic ora ferebat; / et nunc aequali tecum pubesceret aeuo. 9 Perret has: “Prends les derniers présents qui te viendront des tiens, toi, seule image qui me reste de mon Astyanax. Il avait tes yeux, tes mains, ton visage et maintenant, du même pas, il deviendrait un homme avec toi.” The Pléiade renders these words as: “Prends ces derniers présents des tiens, ô seule image qui me reste de mon cher Astyanax. Ainsi avait-il les yeux, ainsi les mains, ainsi les traits ; et maintenant il deviendrait un homme, du même âge que toi.” Perret’s modifier “qui te viendront” reinforces and compensates, while the loss of the possessives weakens the new (Pléiade) version, and the expression “ainsi avait-il” may seem exaggerated and colorless to some readers, in view of the Latin. 3. In The Tatler, Joseph Addison calls the Vergilian Underworld the “empire of death.” 10 At Aeneid 6.273-281 we find dense use of allegory: Vestibulum ante ipsum primisque in faucibus Orci / Luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae, / pallentesque habitant Morbi tristisque Senectus, / et Metus et malesuada Fames ac turpis Egestas, / terribiles uisu formae, Letumque Labosque; / tum consanguineus Leti Sapor et mala mentis / Gaudia, mortiferumque aduerso in limine Bellum, / ferreique Eumenidum thalami et Discordia demens / uiperium crinem uittis innexa cruentis. Perret has: “Avant la cour elle-même, dans les premiers passages de l’Orcus, les deuils et les Soucis vengeurs ont installé leur lit ; les pâles Maladies y habitent et la triste Vieillesse et la Peur, et la Faim, mauvaise conseillère, et l’affreuse Misère, larves terribles à voir, et le Trépas et la Peine ; puis le Sommeil frère du Trépas, et les Mauvaises Joies de l’âme, la Guerre qui tue l’homme, en face sur le seuil, et les loges de fer des euménides, la discorde en délire, sa chevelure de vipères nouée de bandeaux sanglants”. For Perret this description turns poetic, using rhyme and alliteration (“conseillère” – “Misère, larves terribles à voir, et le Trépas” – “discorde en délire”), as well as the lyrical “chevelure” which conjures the sensuous verse of Baudelaire. 11 Now the Pléiade editors: “devant le vestibule même et dans les premières gorges d’Orcus, deuils et Soucis vengeurs ont posé leurs couches, pâles y habitent Maladies et funeste Vieillesse, Crainte, Faim, mauvaise

9 These few powerful lines conjure vivid memories of several crucial and dramatic lines in Racine’s classic, Phèdre (1677), and show clearly Vergil’s influence on Classical French theater. Phèdre is speaking to Hippolyte about his father, Thésée, while still including her stepson in the description: Charmant, jeune, traînant tous les cœurs après soi, / Tel qu’on dépeint nos dieux, ou tel que je vous voi. / Il avait votre port, vos yeux, votre langage, / Cette noble pudeur colorait son visage (Act II, sc. v). It is known too that Racine borrowed the character of Aricie from Virgil, to give Hyppolyte a love interest. 10 The Tatler, No. 154, April 4, 1710, p. 136 [ 86805.0001.000/1:42?rgn=div1;view=fulltext], consulted 23 June 2017. 11 Baudelaire felt the influence of Vergil as well, noted especially in his 1859 poem Le Cygne (“The Swan”), which opens with Andromaque, je pense à vous  ! (see Aen. 3.300-319). There is also Baudelaire’s evocative poem La Chevelure: Ô toison, moutonnant jusque sur l’encolure! (“Head of Hair”: “O fleecy hair, falling in curls to the shoulders!”, an echo of Aen. 6.281).

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conseillère, et hideux dénouement, formes terribles à voir, ainsi que Trépas et Peine ; puis Sommeil frère de Trépas, Joies mauvaises de l’âme, Guerre porteuse de mort, sur le seuil en face, ainsi que les lits de fer des euménides et discorde hors d’esprit qui s’est noué ses cheveux de vipère avec des bandelettes sanglantes.” In the plural, “couches” seems to contradict a basic rule of French grammar (“deuils et Soucis” would each get a “couche” in standard French, unlike english). 12 I still sense here as well a false notion of ‘relevance’ with the omission of articles (too conversational). Perret’s “Guerre qui tue l’homme” may seem at first more Vergilian than “Guerre porteuse de mort,” but perhaps (as one reader has suggested) the editors wished to give the compound adjective mortiferum a more epic feel in the text. And “discorde hors d’esprit qui s’est noué” is not only much weaker than Perret’s “discorde en délire,” but the reflexive phrase “qui s’est noué” is plain graceless. And why the fussy “bandelettes” in place of “bandeaux”? 13 4. A little further on in the Underworld (6.295-304), an equally baleful scene leads to the description of the horrible ferryman Charon and more: Hinc uia Tartarei quae fert Acherontis ad undas. / Turbidus hic caeno uastaque uoragine gurges / aestuat atque omnem Cocyto eructat harenam. / Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina seruat / terribili squalore Charon; qui plurima mento / canities inculta iacet, stant lumina flamma, / sordidus ex umeris nodo dependet amictus. Perret’s version has: “de là une voie mène dans le Tartare vers les eaux de l’Achéron. Gouffre mêlé de fange, en un immense tournoiement il bout et rejette en hoquetant tout son sable dans le Cocyte. Un passeur effrayant monte la garde près de ces flots mouvants, Charon, sale, hérissé, terrible ; des poils blancs foisonnent incultes sur son menton, ses yeux fixes sont de flamme ; un manteau sordide est noué sur ses épaules et pend.” Herewith is the Pléiade sample: “de là un chemin, qui mène aux ondes de l’Achéron tartaréen. Un gouffre, ici troublé de boue et d’un immense tourbillon, bouillonne et vomit tout son sable dans le Cocyte. Un passeur qui fait trembler garde ces eaux et leurs cours, Charon, à la terrible crasse ; à son menton une abondante barbe blanche reste sans soins, immobiles, ses yeux sont de flamme, de ses épaules pend par un nœud son manteau sale.” Perret’s use of “Tartare” seems more literal than the adjectival form in the Pléiade; “fange” is a more potent and, in fact, imaginative word than the more neutral “boue.” But the idea of a “whirpool” is better conveyed by the Pléiade (“un immense tourbillon”), yet Perret’s “en hoquetant” strikes me as more effective and even more visual than “vomit.” With accompanying variety of tempo and metaphor, Perret’s straightforward “passeur effrayant” carries more weight than the Pléiade’s paraphrastic and factitive “un passeur qui fait trembler.” Here we notice the vernacular’s flat limitations – the inability of French to translate the more economical lumina flamma other than with “yeux […] sont de flamme.”

12 each person gets a “couche” in French as it is considered a unique idea: e.g. Please attach your seat belts (english); Veuillez attacher votre ceinture de sécurité (“Please attach your seatbelt”, French). 13 As one reader of these pages reminded me: “It sounds to me as if the Pléiade is more latinate, less ponderous, not as conventional in expression – as Vergil is not striving for conventionality.” Comments continued that the Pléiade renders “sounds more self-consciously elaborate and ‘poetic’ or formal. My point: their aim is not to be conversational, but more Homeric archaic epic.” The only remarks made by the Pléiade editors regarding the translation explain that prose is used (i.e. not a rhyming translation), with an exact line count so that numbered lines correspond to the numbered Latin lines (p. lxxxviii) – a format adapted by C. day Lewis and others. There is no reference to an attempt to imitate Homeric style.

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5. Vergil has Evander describe the adventure of Hercules in Arcadia (8.205-212). The hero’s powerful opponent is a bestial ogre, called Cacus (meaning “bad man” in Greek), son of Mulciber. His tricky thievery, the least of his crimes, will lead to a retributive attack by the demigod, son of Zeus: At furiis Caci mens effera, ne quid inausum / aut intractatum scelerisue doliue fuisset, / quattuor a stabulis praestanti corpore tauros / auertit, totidem forma superante iuuencas. / Atque hos, ne qua forent pedibus uestigia rectis, / cauda in speluncam tractos uersisque uiarum / indiciis raptos saxo occultabat opaco; / quaerenti nulla ad speluncam signa ferebant. Perret interprets the passage in this way: “Mais Cacus, égaré, sauvage, pour ne laisser crime ni fourbe qu’il n’eût osé ou entrepris, détourne de leur pacage quatre taureaux d’immense stature et autant de génisses d’une forme parfaite. Pour que la direction des pas ne fournît quelque indice, il les avait traînés par la queue vers sa caverne, ayant retourné les traces de leur voie ; il tenait ses prises cachées dans les ténèbres de son antre. On pouvait chercher, aucun signe ne portait vers la caverne.” By contrast, the Pléiade editors deconstruct mens (as “âme”); like Perret, they exaggerate fuisset and foret with two imperfect subjunctives (really unnecessary in French, even formal French; one asks, “Really?”): “Mais l’âme de Cacus, par la fureur égarée, pour que ni ruse ni crime ne restassent à l’abri de son audace et de son entreprise, détourne de leur étable quatre taureaux magnifiques d’apparence et autant de génisses d’une grande beauté. et pour que les traces de leur pas ne fussent pas dans le bon sens, il les tira par la queue dans sa caverne ; ayant ainsi inversé les empreintes sur le chemin, il cacha son butin de l’écran d’une roche.” I think one should add that “magnifiques d’apparence” also overdoes the meaning of forma superante, and that “d’une grande beauté” just crashes into the bland quotidian. I wonder, too, if the superb vocable speluncam is foreshortened by the too simple “roche” (and does “de l’écran d’une roche” convey the meaning of the word?). 6. My next selection was chosen for personal reasons. Lavinia’s psychological behavior – the blush – at 12.64-71 has been proposed as the inspirational source for a long and famous amplification in the anonymous mid-twelfth century adaptation of the Aeneid, Le Roman d’Énéas, 14 a text I have been working on since around 1970: Accepit uocem lacrimis Lauinia matris / flagrantis perfusa genas, cui plurimus ignem / subiecit rubor et calefacta per ora cucurrit. / Indum sanguineo ueluti uiolauerit ostro / si quis ebur, aut mixta rubent ubi lilia multa / alba rosa, talis uirgo dabat ore colores. / Illum turbat amor figitque in uirgine uultus; / ardet in arma magis […]. Perret renders the description and comparison in this way: “Lavinia accueillit avec des larmes les paroles de sa mère, inondant ses joues brûlantes ; une vive rougeur y fit monter un feu, chaleur courant sur son visage. Ainsi un artiste teinte l’ivoire indien du sang de la pourpre, ainsi, mêlés à des bouquets de roses, rougissent de blancs lis, telles les couleurs sur les traits de la jeune fille. Pour lui [Turnus], l’amour le trouble et il fixe son regard sur la jeune fille ; son ardeur à combattre s’accroît […].” By contrast, the Pléiade version simplifies the narrative, favors the active (“baigna”) or passive (“se répandit”), whereas Perret chooses the somewhat more lively present participle (“inondant”) and factitive expression (“y fit monter”). With alliteration and more, Perret attempts to capture the action – the sense and force – of the Latin (flagrantis perfusa genas, cui plurimus ignem […]
14 See Énéas, texte critique, ed. Jacques SalverDa De Grave, Halle, 1891, p. lix; this is the antecedent of the standard Paris 1925-1927 edition. For more on Lavinia, see my Woman’s Ways of Feeling: Lavinia’s Innovative Discourse of/on/about Love in the Roman d’Énéas, in A. ClaSSen (ed.), Words of Love and Love of Words in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Tempe, AZ, 2008, p. 111-127.

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rubor et calefacta […] ebur […] rubent […]). Here is the Pléiade text: “Lavinia entendit avec des larmes les paroles de sa mère. elle baigna ses joues brûlantes ; une intense rougeur la colora de feu et se répandit sur ses traits enflammés. Comme un ivoire indien d’une pourpre de sang s’altère, ou comme un grand bouquet de lys blancs de la rose que l’on y mêle, ainsi se colorait le visage de la vierge. et lui [Turnus], l’amour le trouble, il regarde intensément la vierge et brûle encore plus de combattre […].” While the
Pléiade has removed the maker-agent involved, Perret has usefully interpolated “artiste” for the unspecific si quis. The Pléiade team has particularly excelled in having Turnus “burn even more to fight” (for ardet in arma magis). But a quick glance at the Énéide ‘louvaniste’ for comparison reveals the lack of passion in the Pléiade translation: Lavinia “versait des larmes qui inondaient ses joues brûlantes ; une vive rougeur embrasa son visage et parcourut ses traits en feu.” 15 7. My last selection involves the very last fourteen and one-half lines of the epic (12.938-952) which still remain controversial for Vergil scholars. In light of the admonition from Pater Anchises, and “Harvard School” interpretation or not, the final action of Aeneas – standing in triumph over a suppliant Turnus – lingers even for readers today as fraught with ambiguity. It ends thus: Stetit acer in armis / Aeneas uoluens oculos dextramque repressit; / et iam iamque magis cunctantem flectere sermo / coeperat, infelix umero cum apparuit alto / balteus et notis fulserunt cingula bullis / Pallantis pueri, uictum quem uolnere Turnus / strauerat atque umeris inimicum insigne gerebat. / Ille, oculis postquam saeui monimenta doloris / exuuiasque hausit, Furiis accensus et ira / terribilis: ‘Tune hinc spoliis indute meorum / eripiare mihi? Pallas te hoc uolnere, Pallas / immolat et poenam scelerato ex sanguine sumit.’ / Hoc dicens ferrum aduerso sub pectore condit / feruidus; ast illi soluontur frigore membra / uitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras. Perret translates: “Énée frémissant sous ses armes, s’arrêta, les yeux incertains et il retint son bras. À mesure qu’il tardait davantage, les paroles de Turnus avaient commencé à l’émouvoir quand, par malheur, apparut au sommet de l’épaule le baudrier puis, sur le harnois, les clous étincelants, bien connus, de Pallas, le jeune Pallas que Turnus victorieux avait terrassé sous ses coups et dont il portait sur ses épaules le trophée ennemi. Après qu’il eut empli ses yeux de la vue de ces parures – elles ravivent en lui une douleur cruelle –, enflammé par les Furies, terrible en sa colère : ‘Toi qui te revêts de la dépouille des miens, quoi, tu pourrais maintenant te sauver de mes mains ? dans ce coup, c’est Pallas qui se paie de ton sang scélérat.’ À ces mots, il lui enfonce son épée droit dans la poitrine, bouillant de rage ; le corps se glace et se dénoue, la vie dans un gémissement s’enfuit indignée sous les ombres.” Here now is the Pléiade team’s take: “Énée s’arrêta en armes, impétueux, roulant les yeux, et il retint sa main ; ces mots avaient commencé à le fléchir, et il hésitait plutôt à l’instant même où apparut en haut de l’épaule le baudrier infortuné et où brillèrent les sangles avec les clous connus : ceux du jeune Pallas ; Turnus l’avait terrassé, vaincu et blessé, et en portait aux épaules la parure ennemie. Énée, après avoir abreuvé ses yeux des souvenirs d’une douleur cruelle et de ce butin, embrasé par les Furies et terrible de colère : ‘est-ce que toi, tu m’échapperais, toi qui t’es dès lors vêtu des dépouilles des miens ? C’est Pallas qui t’immole par ce coup qui est le mien, oui, Pallas, et il tire vengeance de ton sang criminel.’ disant cela, il plonge le fer au fond de la poitrine qui lui fait face avec feu ; quant à Turnus, de froid se dénouent ses membres et sa vie, avec un gémissement, fuit indignée sous les ombres”. even though, at this point, the two

15 From the Bibliotheca Classica Selecta, Anne-Marie boxuS et Jacques PouCet (trans.) [], consulted 23 June 2017.

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translations seem rather similar, there are several noteworthy differences that need highlighting. First, Perret’s fairly standard “retint son bras” compares to the more striking (and not insignificantly modern-sounding) Pléiade “retint sa main.” We notice that et iam iamque magis cunctatem flectere sermo is handled in opposite ways by each version, while Perret’s “par malheur” (can mean just “by accident”) contrasts with the Pléiade “baudrier infortuné,” itself, I think, an unfortunate choice of words; “fatal” is meant but neither choice here is convincing. Perret’s “trophée ennemi” is replaced by “parure ennemie,” really a subtle change in meaning as “parure” carries distracting and inappropriate connotations of decoration or jewelry. With Perret, Aeneas’ spitting hot words are more direct while the Pléiade tries to capture the full sense of Tune. Finally, Perret has “bouillant de rage” for feruidus, while the Pléiade leaves us quite puzzled with “lui fait face avec feu.” All in all, while Virgil’s “secret presence” 16 can assuredly never be captured in another language, and our own reservations notwithstanding, the new Pléiade tome, with its incredibly robust 300 pages of detailed notes and twelve-page bibliography, should find a place on all scholarly library shelves. Its publication, with the poet at last canonical in this French format, is a major event for Vergil fans, who will be grateful for it.
–Raymond Cormier

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