Skip Navigation Links
A. Rizzi
Vernacular Translators in Quattrocento Italy
Scribal Culture, Authority, and Agency

Add to basket ->
X+236 p., 5 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2017
ISBN: 978-2-503-56785-3
Languages: English, Latin
HardbackHardback
The publication is available.The publication is available.
Retail price: EUR 75,00 excl. tax
How to order?
Online content: http://www.brepolsonline.net/action/showBook?doi=10.1484/M.LMEMS-EB.5.110229
This study collapses the perceived divide between Latin and vernacular humanisms, and offers a fresh understanding of Quattrocento Italy as a period of immense dynamism and creativity in the history of translation.

This book provides a richly documented study of vernacular translators as agents within the literary culture of Italy during the fifteenth century. Through a fresh and careful examination of these early modern translators, Rizzi shows how humanist translators went about convincing readers of the value of their work in disseminating knowledge that would otherwise be inaccessible to many. The translators studied in this book include not only the well-known ‘superstars’ such as Leonardo Bruni, but also little-known and indeed obscure writers from throughout the Italian peninsula.

Rizzi demonstrates that vernacular translation did not cease with the rise of ‘humanism’. Translations from Greek into Latin spurred the concurrent production of ‘new’ vernacular versions. Humanists challenged themselves to produce creative and authoritative translations both from Greek and occasionally from the vernacular into Latin, and from Latin into the vernacular. Translators grew increasingly self-assertive when taking on these tasks.

The findings of this study have wide implications: they trace a novel history of the use of the Italian language alongside Latin in a period when high culture was bilingual. They also shed further light on the topic of Renaissance self-fashioning, and on the workings of the patronage system, which has been studied far less in literary history than in art history. Finally, the book gives welcome emphasis to the concept that the creation and the circulation of translations (along with other literary activities) were collaborative activities, involving dedicatees, friends, and scribes, among others.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgements

Introduction: A New Era for Translators

  • Authority
  • Eloquence
  • Collaboration
  • Friendship
  • ‘Libri utilissimi’
  • The Translator and the Paratext
  • Translations as Objects

Chapter 1: Early Quattrocento Vernacular Translators

  • How Many Vernacular Translators? What Texts Did They Translate?
  • Beyond ‘Humanism’ and its Dichotomies

Chapter 2: Translators at the Court of Naples

  • Agents of Praise and Blame
  • Diligent and Industrious
  • ‘I had worked hard’: Self-translators and Self-promoters

Chapter 3: Early Quattrocento Humanists and the Dignity of the Vernacular

  • Vernacular Writing in the Early Quattrocento
  • Vernacular Translation and ‘Following the Times’

Chapter 4: Bruni and the ‘New’ Quattrocento Translator

  • ‘Each thing is most completely perfect’
  • Communication and Persuasion through Vernacular Translation
  • The Traductor as a Model for Vernacular Translators
  • Bruni Defending his Translative Practice

Chapter 5: Between Elegance and Intelligibility

  • The Quest for Elegance
  • The Vernacular Traductor
  • ‘We have improved the text’

Chapter 6: Collaborative Transformations

  • Transforming the Ruler
  • Mirroring the Ruler
  • ‘Your lordship, make up my inaccuracies’

Chapter 7: Friends Gifting Vernacular Translations

  • Open Expressions of Friendship
  • Seeking and Giving Political Support
  • Gifts of Collaboration

Conclusion

Appendix: List of Quattrocento Vernacular Translators for the Years 1392–1480

Bibliography

Index of Names

 

Review

“Any time a book softens binaries 130 seventeenth-century news and complicates the received opinion, we must welcome it, and that is certainly the case here.” (Craig Kallendorf, in Seventeenth Century News, 75/3-4, 2017, p. 129-130)

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Romance literatures
Italian literature
Comparative & cultural studies through literature
Translation & vernacularity
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Cultural & intellectual history

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
Privacy Policy - Terms and Conditions © 2017 Brepols Publishers NV/SA - All Rights Reserved