Likenesses: Translation, Illustration, Interpretation
By: Matthew Reynolds (author)Hardback
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Translation, illustration and interpretation have at least two things in common. They all begin when sense is made in the act of reading: that is where illustrative images and explanatory words begin to form. And they all ask to be understood in relation to the works from which they have arisen: reading them is a matter of reading readings. Likenesses explores this palimpsestic realm, with examples from Dante to the contemporary sculptor Rachel Whiteread. The complexities that emerge are different from Empsonian ambiguity or de Man's unknowable infinity of signification: here, meaning dawns and fades as the hologrammic text is filled out and flattened by successive encounters. Since all literature and art is palimpsestic to some degree - Reynolds proposes - this style of interpretation can become a tactic for criticism in general. Critics need both to indulge and to distrust the metamorphic power of their interpreting imaginations. Likenesses follows on from the argument of Reynolds's The Poetry of Translation (2011), extending it through other translations and beyond them into a wide range of layered texts.
Browning emerges as a key figure because his poems laminate languages, places, times and modes of utterance with such compelling energy. There are also substantial, innovative accounts of Dryden, Stubbs, Goya, Turner, Tennyson, Ungaretti and many more.
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- ID: 9781907975820
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