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18世紀英国における叙事詩理解とホメーロス翻訳

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概要 Francis Newman, chiefly remembered as an opponent of Matthew Arnold, asserted in 1856 that Homer is ‘the poet of a barbarian age’, and that translations of Homer should be ‘foreign’ and based on Engli...sh old ballads. In this article, I explore the background to Newman’s apparently idiosyncratic claim. To begin with, I introduce the Scottish Enlightenment’s theory of social development, in which the genesis of epic was to be explained and embedded in the earliest civilization. In particular, Thomas Blackwell in 1735 explicated Homer in relation to his own age, i.e. the primitive society. Thereafter, his historicist approach influenced how to understand and translate Homer. While Alexander Pope opted for the heroic couplet (1715-26), William Cowper believed in the barbarity of the Homeric world, and translated Homer in blank verse (1791), which, according to Edward Young, was the form of verse before the Fall. Cowper, however, did not take in the idea of oral tradition, one of the concerns of the Enlightenment thinkers. Oral tradition in the ethnographic sense is itself an invention in the eighteenth century. Thanks to encounters in the New World, oral tradition in non-literate societies gradually gained positive assessment. Based on the theory of gradual social development, contemporary non-literate societies appeared to be comparable with ancient ones. Thus, oral tradition was entangled with epic, supposed to be born in primitive and yet vigorous societies. It is through James MacPherson’s Ossian poems (1760-5) that the connection between oral tradition and epic was widely acknowledged. MacPherson, under the impact of Blackwell, seems to have constructed ‘epic’ poems using ballads and fragments he had collected in and around the Highlands of Scotland. His international popularity influenced Robert Wood, who connected Homer with oral tradition and, in turn, influenced German philologist August F. Wolf. Wolf advocated that Homer’s epics were edited into the present form at a later age from much shorter poems, or ballads. Behind these key figures was the Ballad Revival, an ardent movement in collecting traditional ballads and creating literary ones in Britain and beyond. Ballads were once fancied as the earliest poetry in every civilization, and thus were inextricably intertwined with the aspiration of epic primitivism. MacPherson’s collecting Gaelic ballads and fragments was part of it. In Germany, Johann Gottfried Herder engaged in it and so helped to prepare for Wolf’s popularity. In England, William Maggin translated Homer into ballads in 1838, which was followed by Newman’s translation in 1856. Thus, Newman’s claim and translation principle were rooted both in the social development theory upheld by the Enlightenment intellectuals, which ascribed epic to earlier, primitive civilizations, and in a particular association between the two genres, epic and ballad.続きを見る
目次 Ⅰ 18世紀スコットランド啓蒙主義の叙事詩理解
Ⅱ ポウプ訳からクーパー訳へ
Ⅲ 口承伝統 Oral tradition
Ⅳ 「オシアンの歌」とホメーロス理解
Ⅴ バラッド・リヴァイヴァルとホメーロス翻訳

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登録日 2022.10.31
更新日 2023.11.01

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