IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 1601: Translation and Style in Old English Prose

Thursday 15 July 2004, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:David F. Johnson, Department of English, Florida State University
Paper 1601-aNegotiating the Interface: Anglo-Saxon Reception of the Old English Bede Texts
(Language: English)
Lorraine Taylor, School of English, Queen's University Belfast
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English
Paper 1601-bKing Alfred's Ulysses
(Language: English)
Maria Nenarokova, Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 1601-cÆlfric's (Un)changing Style
(Language: English)
Gabriella Corona, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Rhetoric

grouped by Mary Swan (30/10/03):
Abstract paper -a:
The Venerable Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (‘HE’) is a veritable repository of cultural clashes, with its accounts of the competing hegemonies of the Romans, Britons, Angles and Saxons, etc., as well as the clash between the British church and that of Augustine. The five extant Old English Bede manuscripts display many variations from the Latin; variations which constitute another kind of clash – that between audiences at different historical and cultural moments, with differing ‘horizons of expectations’. An examination of some of these variations reveals much about who these manuscripts, and their producers, imagined their audiences to be.

Abstract paper -b:
While translating the Consolatio philosopiae by Boethius, king Alfred retold the Latin poems in prose. Because of the difference between the Roman and the Anglo-Saxon cultures, he had to add or explain the facts,unknown to the Anglo-Saxons.This resulted in a ‘culture-to-culture’ translation. Thus, Ulysses could be regarded as an Anglo-Saxon ‘kyning’. King Alfred’s version of his story concerns the relations between the ‘kyning’ and his ‘thanes’ and the ones between the ‘kyning’ and the foreign lady.The main idea of Alfred’s Ulysses is ignoring the rules, accepted by the society and, as a consequence, the hero’s social death.

Abstract paper -c:
Patterns of stylistic development can be identified throughout AElfric’s work, with the rather drastic change from ‘regular’ to alliterative prose occurring in the Life of Saint Cuthberht (second collection of Catholic Homilies). Such changes in rhetoric of style primarily invest syntactical and lexical choices, so that each clause forms a self-contained rhythmical line. Many signs of AElfric’s later style can however be detected in the earlier Homilies. Therefore, this paper seeks to identify AElfric’s early experimentation with this distinctive style, and his adaption of recurring phrases in response to the rhetoric of his Latin sources.