Marjorie Harrington: "Gained in Translation" in Harley 913

Marjorie Harrington: "Gained in Translation" in Harley 913

Multilingualism & Language Transfer in a 14th Century Franciscan's Notebook
Robbins Library, Rush Rhees Room 416
April 7, 2017 3:00pm

Marjorie Harrington, the current Helen Ann Robbins Fellow, will share her work on the British Library's Harley 913 manuscript. Harley 913 is one of the earliest and most important sources for English poetry written in medieval Ireland, but it also contains texts in Latin and Anglo-Norman French. Within this trilingual manuscript, there are three poems that are accompanied by translations into another of the manuscript's three languages: Christ on the Cross, a Latin prose meditation on the crucifixion paired with a rhymed English translation; Lollai, an English "lullaby" about mankind's sinfulness with a partial Latin translation; and Earth, a densely punning English poem about human mortality with a Latin translation in alternating stanzas. Harrington argues that the three translated texts in Harley 913 show the scribe's high degree of metalinguistic awareness and his delight in wordplay.




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