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The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age$
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K. P. Van Anglen and James Engell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474429641

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429641.001.0001

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“Larger the shadows”: Longfellow’s Translation of Virgil’s Eclogue 1

“Larger the shadows”: Longfellow’s Translation of Virgil’s Eclogue 1

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter 4 “Larger the shadows”: Longfellow’s Translation of Virgil’s Eclogue 1
Source:
The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age
Author(s):

Christoph Irmscher

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429641.003.0005

“Larger the shadows” takes a close look at Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s translation of Virgil’s “Eclogue 1” (1870), a poem that reflected his experience of change, both in himself and around him in his physical environment. A relentless foreignizer as a translator, Longfellow nevertheless found in Virgil a familiar, modern commitment to preserving “green” spaces. Translating Virgil, Longfellow recognized facets of himself in Virgil’s characters: he was both Tityrus, reclining in the shade, warbling inconsequential little tunes on his reed, as well as Meliboeus, haunted by nightmares of the impending loss of his semi-rural locus amoenus (notably contemporary efforts to open up the banks of the Charles River for development). The essay also offers a review of previous translations of Eclogue 1 and editions of Virgil used by Longfellow.

Keywords:   Longfellow, Virgil, pastoral poetry, literature of the environment, eclogues, translations, environmental history, Boston and Cambridge, green spaces, Eclogue 1

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