Christopher Smart's English Lyrics: Translation in the Eighteenth Century, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Christopher Smart's English Lyrics

Translation in the Eighteenth Century, 1st Edition

By Rosalind Powell


220 pages

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Hardback: 9781472435071
pub: 2016-03-18
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In the first full-length study of Christopher Smart’s translations and the place and function of translation in Smart’s poetry, Rosalind Powell proposes a new approach to understanding the relationship between Smart’s poetics and his practice. Drawing on translation theory from the early modern period to the present day, this book addresses Smart's translations of Horace, Phaedrus and the Psalms alongside the better-known religious works such as Jubilate Agno and A Song to David. Five recurrent threads run throughout Powell’s study: the effect of translation on the identity of a narrative voice in a rewritten text; the techniques that are used to present translated texts to a new literary, cultural and linguistic readership; performance and reading contexts; the translation of great works as an attempt to achieve literary permanence; and, finally, the authorial influence of Smart himself in terms of the overt religiosity and nationalism that he champions in his writing. In exploring Smart’s major translation projects and revisiting his original poems, Powell offers insights into classical reception and translation theory; attitudes towards censorship; expressions of nationalism in the period; developments in liturgy and hymnody; and the composition of children’s books and school texts in the early modern era. Her detailed analysis of Smart’s translating poetics places them within a new, contemporary context and locality to uncover the poet's works as a coherent project of Englishing.

Table of Contents


1 Translating Original Verse

2 A Translation of the Psalms: Replacing David

3 Fracturing Phaedrus: Smart's Translated and Original Fables

4 Smart's Horace: Creating Curious Felicity in English Verse

Conclusion: Smart's Lyric Immortality

About the Author

Rosalind Powell is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bristol, UK. She received her doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 2012.

About the Series

British Literature in Context in the Long Eighteenth Century

British Literature in the Eighteenth Century
This series aims to promote original scholarship on the intersection of British literature and history in the long eighteenth century, from the Restoration through the first generation of the Romantic era. Both "literature" and "history" are broadly conceived. Literature might include not only canonical novels, poems, and plays but also essays, life-writing, and belles lettres of all sorts, by both major and minor authors. History might include not only traditional political and social history but also the history of the book, the history of science, the history of religion, the history of scholarship, and the history of sexuality, as well as broader questions of historiography and periodization. The series editors invite proposals for both monographs and collections taking a wide range of approaches. Contributions may be interdisciplinary but should be grounded in sound historical research. All manuscripts should be written so as to be accessible to a wide audience while also making lasting contributions to the field.

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