Eros z patyną. Kilka przykładów z antycznej komedii w sprawie historii przekładu erotyki

Ewa Skwara


Eros with patina. Translating erotica in ancient comedy
Using Plautus’ comedies as an example, the article shows how the translation of erotica
varied depending on the dominant habits and customs of a given period. It underlines
two opposite trends: one allows an ever-growing license to invoke fantasy; the second
inhibits the texts to be too graphic and vulgar (especially when it comes to the choice
of language). If an erotic pun of the original invokes only sexual associations and allusions,
translators often feel obliged to be bold in their version of the text. But there
can be no consent about the use of vulgar language. On the one hand, translators are
hindered by the conviction that the heroes of ancient plays should not speak a language
that looks too modern. On the other hand, dictionaries offer an almost biblical (or just
archaic) vocabulary when it comes to the obscene. In effect erotica usually tend to
sound older, more archaic, than the rest of the text.

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