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sīþ, wræcsīþ: Literal or Figurative?

Considerations on Genre and Gender Conventions in Translating from Old English

Concetta Sipione    Università degli Studi di Catania, Italia    

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abstract

The Old English poem The Wife’s Lament is an extremely conventional and, at the same time, original text. It portrays a female character suffering for the absence of her loved one, through the framework of the so-called ‘elegiac’ style and a mainly heroic vocabulary. The traditional exile theme is, thus, interwoven with the uncommon motif of love sickness. While this appraisal of the poem is the most widely accepted one, disagreement still remains about the translation of some keywords, strictly related to the exile theme, such as sīþ or wræcsīþ. The aim of this paper is to examine diverging readings and glosses of the above mentioned ‘exilic/elegiac’ keywords, and to show that an accurate translation should not neglect a thorough appraisal of the text in its complexity and the association with related literary patterns and imagery in other poetic and prose texts.

Published
May 24, 2018
Accepted
Feb. 19, 2018
Submitted
Jan. 17, 2018
Language
IT
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-250-5
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-248-2

Keywords: The Wife’s LamentTranslationGenreExileLiteral or figurative

Copyright: © 2018 Concetta Sipione. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.