This book examines the uses which Dryden makes of Latin in his poetry and his critical writing, firstly through quotation and allusion, and secondly through formal translation. The first half explores the paradox that Dryden's sense of himself as a modern English writer is often articulated by means of a turn to classical Latin, while the contemporary English nation is conceptualized through references to ancient Rome. The second half offers readings of Dryden's translations from Horace, Juvenal, Lucretius, Ovid, and Virgil, culminating in a long essay on Dryden's Aeneis. Dryden used translation from the Latin poets as a way of exploring new territory: in the public sphere, to engage with empire and its loss, and in the private world, to contemplate selfhood and its dissolution. In following the varied traces of Rome in the texture of Dryden's writing, and by emphasizing his continual engagement with mutability and metamorphosis, this book argues the case for Dryden as a thoughtful, humanistic poet.
`Paul Hammond's account of the use of Rome by the seventeenth-century poet and the allusions which fall, sometimes misquoted in Dryden's work, provide a valuable addition to our understanding of Dryden the poet and his intellectual context.' Literature & History, 3th series, vol. 10, no. 2 `The personal and public use Dryden made of Latin in his poetry is extensively and painstakingly explored in this rich book, especially for the light thrown upon the way in which contemporary Englishness is conceputalised through references to ancient Rome.' Literature & History, 3th series, vol. 10, no. 2 `This book places translation at the heart of Dryden's achievement. Anyone working seriously on Dryden will have to engage with it, and will enjoy doing so.' Matthew Steggle, Sheffield Hallam University `The strengths of this study lie in its attention to verbal detail, and its historicized approach to assessing the nuances of such centrally important terms as 'pious' or 'restore'.' Matthew Steggle, Sheffield Hallam University `sensitive and illuminating study' The Seventeenth Century, Vol.XVI, No.1 `Hammond is, as far as I know, the only critic to devote close, rewarding analytical attention to the Latin epigraphs to Dryden's poems and the quotations from Latin embedded in his prose' The Seventeenth Century, Vol.XVI, No.1 `sensitive discussions of Dryden's literary borrowing' The Seventeenth Century, Vol.XVI, No.1 `a brilliant accommodation between deconstruction and political and historical context is achieved. ... The book culminates in a superlative reading of Dryden's translation of Virgil's Aeneid.' David Walker, Critical Theory: General `This learned, engaging, and beautifully written book represents a giant step forward in our understanding of Dryden's deployment of Latin Literature.' James A. Winn, Review of English Studies, Vol.51, No.203, 2000. `Hammond ... displays a gift for drawing apparently heterogeneous materials into convincing bundles. The final chapter ... concerns the Aeneis ... Here Hammond is a subtle political reader ... He chooses fascinating passages and analyses them with patience and skill. The virtues of this fine chapter are the virtues of the book as a whole.' James A. Winn, Review of English Studies, Vol.51, No.203, 2000. `Hammond knows his Latin, notices every time that Dryden departs from literalism, and thinks hard about the meanings and motives of those moments of suppression, invention, and rearrangement. He is a skilled and insightful reader; we are in his debt.' James A. Winn, Review of English Studies, Vol.51, No.203, 2000. Professor Hammond has set about dismantling what he calls, in the preface to this latest volume, "the commonplace assumptions about Dryden's stolidly conservative or merely opportunistic engagement with life"./ What is new about this book, ... is its theoretical apparatus./ Paul Davis, TLS, 21/05/99. `this intensely meditated and beautifully crafted book ... Hammond is very good at spotting illuminating examples of editorial commentary ... The second half of the book consists of a masterly essay on Dryden's translations ... Everything is done to help the reader: for example, all Latin phrases and words are translated.' Keith Walker, MLR `'His book couches its insights in Derridean terms, but its influence is likely to be felt far beyond the bounds of theory, for the peculiar tone of early neoclassical Britain has never perhaps been more sympathetically understood.'' Year's Work in English Studies
Number Of Pages: 318
Published: 1st March 1999
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.4 x 14.3 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.55