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How Twentieth Century Greek Scholars Influenced the Works of Nineteenth Century Greek Translators of ‘The Poems of Ossian’ by James Macpherson

Journal: Athens Journal of Philology (Vol.1, No. 4)

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Authors : ;

Page : 273-284

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Did the influence towards Nineteenth Century translators of The Poems of Ossian by the Scot, James Macpherson result in any neglect in the following century? In this article, I discuss the only paper that deals with the subject of Ossian at length, entitled ‘Ossian in Greece’ by the scholar Nassos Vagenas, which was published in the periodical Parnassos in April, 1967, when the military junta came into power. Various comments will be made on Vagenas’s paper among which will be the 1850 translation of ‘Calmar and Orla’ as well as the Twentieth Century translation by Stathis Spiliotopoulos, entitled ‘Ossian Poems’ into poetry in book form in demotic Greek, the official language in 1936 under General Metaxa, the Modern Greek dictator. It was published three months before the public burning of books: the works of Goethe were on the pyre. The 1994 award winning ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ by Goethe, which include ‘The Songs of Selma’ and a short extract from ‘Berrathon’, translated by Stella G. Nikoloudi, will also be mentioned together with the biography entitled ‘Panayiotis Panas: A Romantic Radical’ by the scholar Erasmia Louisa Stavropoulou, published in 1987. Panayotis Panas was the main Nineteenth Century translator of this Celtic poetry. This Scottish work was translated by Nineteenth Century translators from English, Italian and French into Modern Greek Purist, the official language, and demotic poetry and prose. Reference to the enrichment of the language from the neologisms and recycled ancient Greek words in translations of this Celtic work, which are included in the 1991 dictionary compiled by Tegopoulos and Phytrakis, will reveal if true recognition was given to the Nineteenth Century translators.

Last modified: 2015-07-01 20:03:53