This essay draws on the prefatory material in Jasper Heywood's translations of three Senecan tragedies—Troas (1559), Thyestes (1560), and Hercules Furens (1561)—to show that a focus on judgment helps to expound Heywood's theory of translation. The judgments envisioned in these prefatory texts, namely, the evaluative judgments of others and the philological judgments required of the translator, highlight Heywood's understanding of Seneca's original intention as the only true measure of the English translations. For Heywood, there can be no “intentional fallacy” because intention is the only remedy against the difficulties of translation (complexity of the Latin original, deficient sources, unreliability of the printed text). Ultimately Heywood's efforts to approximate Seneca's original “sense,” culminating in the creation of a fictional Seneca, endow the translator with an authorial intention.
“Touching the Author's Mind”: Judgment and Intention in Jasper Heywood's Translations of Seneca
Patrick Durdel; “Touching the Author's Mind”: Judgment and Intention in Jasper Heywood's Translations of Seneca. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 September 2023; 53 (3): 623–640. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-10689701
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