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Collaborative Translation as a Conceptual Model for Authorship in Renaissance Multilingual Translations of Aesop's Fables

Thu, March 22, 4:00 to 5:30pm, Hilton Riverside Complex, Quarter Deck Room A

Abstract

In the context of a growing interest in early-modern collaborative translation, I explore instances in which this practice appears to work as a conceptual model for translators who are not actually collaborating with a contemporary expert but combining their work with past versions. My analysis focuses on multilingual versions of Aesop’s fables, including Heinrich Steinhöwel’s German-and-Latin Esopus (1476), the Aesopus moralisatus in Latin verses and Italian sonnets by Accio Zucco (1479), and the Greco-Latin edition of Aldus Manutius, which contained some Latin versions of his own (1505). By having their versions placed side by side well-known previous translations of these texts, Renaissance translators were constructing a prestigious space for themselves. The analysis of this space, which I believe is based on the collaborative-translator model, can shed light on the conceptual implications of competing authorial models, including those of the ‘first author’, the ‘individual translator’ and the ‘imitator’.

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