n Akroterion - Partly folksy, sometimes smirking : a new translation of Augustine’s confessions

Volume 63 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1896
  • E-ISSN: 2079-2883
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The translator and poet Sarah Ruden published her new and in some ways quite original translation of Augustine’s Confessions in 2017. In a fighting introductory essay she explains her position which she characterises as maverick. She contrasts her own work against other translations, which she regards as more traditional. Ruden makes provocative claims about the allegedly conventional interpretations, which, relative to hers she argues, can work to obscure rather than convey what the Bishop of Hippo intended his contemporary audience to understand. This essay forms a reflection on her claims and sets some of her passages against the original Latin and those of other modern English translators. While Ruden’s is a welcome contribution to a well populated field of translations into modern languages, her claims and strategies are not found to be always entirely judicious.

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