Swift after Horace

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Despite his career-long interest in Horace, Swift did not write formal “imitations” in the extensive manner in which Dryden or Pope did. This might in part explain the relative neglect of these poems in Swift studies and in surveys of literary translation of the period. In many of his Horatian poems, such as “The First Ode of the Second Book Paraphrased,” “Part of the Seventh Epistle of the First Book of Horace Imitated,” “Horace, Lib 2, Sat 6. Part of it Imitated,” “To the Earl of Oxford … out of Horace,” and “Toland’s Invitation to Dismal … Imitated from Horace,” Swift deals with parts, not wholes. In “Horace, Book I, Ode XIV,” by contrast, he engrafts onto the original striking new material, including a primer for his implied readership. While earlier critics have examined Swift’s Horatian poems in terms of the theory and practice of literary translation, this essay shifts the focus onto the translator rather than the translation, the persona rather than the paraphrased. Thus, it works towards a larger study of Swift’s appropriative poetics beyond formal imitation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReading Swift
Subtitle of host publicationPapers from the Seventh Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift
EditorsJanika Bischof, Kirsten Juhas, Hermann J. Real
Place of PublicationPaderborn
PublisherWilhelm Fink Verlag
Number of pages250
ISBN (Print)9783770563975
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019


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