The Severed Head and the Grafted Tongue: Literature, Translation and Violence in Early Modern Ireland
By: Patricia Palmer (author)Hardback
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Severed heads emblemise the vexed relationship between the aesthetic and the atrocious. During the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland, colonisers such as Edmund Spenser, Sir John Harington and Sir George Carew wrote or translated epic romances replete with beheadings even as they countenanced - or conducted - similar deeds on the battlefield. This study juxtaposes the archival record of actual violence with literary depictions of decapitation to explore how violence gets transcribed into art. Patricia Palmer brings the colonial world of Renaissance England face to face with Irish literary culture. She surveys a broad linguistic and geographical range of texts, from translations of Virgil's Aeneid to the Renaissance epics of Ariosto and Ercilla and makes Irish-language responses to conquest and colonisation available in readable translations. In doing so, she offers literary and political historians access not only to colonial brutality but also to its ethical reservations, while providing access to the all-too-rarely heard voices of the dispossessed.
Patricia Palmer is a senior lecturer in English at King's College London. She is the author of Language and Conquest in Early Modern Ireland (2002) and has broadcast on language for Irish radio.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. 'A Horses Loade of Heades': conquest and atrocity in early modern Ireland; 2. The romance of the severed head: Sir John Harington's translation of Orlando Furioso; 3. Defaced: allegory, violence and romance recognition in The Faerie Queene; 4. The head in a bag: Sir George Carew's translation of Alonso de Ercilla's La Araucana; 5. Elegy and afterlives.
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- ID: 9781107041844
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