Dante 2021 Lecture series | The Global Translation History of Dante’s Divina Commedia
The Department of Italian Studies presents
Dante 2021 Lecture series
The Global Translation History of Dante’s Divina Commedia
Jacob Blakesley, University of Leeds
Dante’s Divine Comedy charts the voyage of the narrator through the afterlife, as he goes through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, ending with a final vision of God. His poem, steeped in Catholic theology and scholastic philosophy, is written in medieval Italian, in a verse form invented by Dante himself. My talk will present a panorama of its global translation history from the very first translations in the 15th century until today. We all know Dante’s Divine Comedy is quite popular, but how famous is it really? Where has it been translated – and where has it not been translated? Is this medieval Catholic text read in many diverse cultural and religious settings? What problems of censorship does it face when translated into languages like Arabic and Persian, or Victorian English? In what languages does it circulate? As I will show, in many countries his text is read and studied exclusively in translation. Finally, I will conclude with a reflection on whether Dante’s magnum opus can be considered a text of world literature – or not.
About the speaker
Jacob Blakesley is associate professor in comparative literature and literary translation at the University of Leeds, where he co-directs the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies. He has written two books on poetry translation and poetry translators (Modern Italian Poets: Translators of the Impossible and A Sociological Approach to Poetry Translation: Modern European Poet-Translators), and edited a third book on the sociology of poetry translation (Sociologies of Poetry Translation: Emerging Perspectives). He is currently writing the first global history of Dante translations from the 15th century until today, and co-editing a volume on English translations of the Vita Nova for Routledge. He is one of the directors of the Leeds Studies in Dante (Peter Lang) and Routledge Studies in Literary Translation (Routledge) book series, and he chairs the John Dryden Translation Competition.
For more information, contact: Associate Professor Francesco Borghesi – firstname.lastname@example.org