The song of songs in the rhythms of George Seferis

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Abstract

George Seferis translated the Song of Songs in 1960 (published 1965), using as his basis the Koine Greek text of the Septuagint but also gaining access to its Hebrew version by consulting other editions. Seferis's translation is primarily motivated by a desire to expose the linguistic and textual multiplicity that constitutes the Septuagint itself. Seferis's translation thus consistently calls attention to the Hebrew that lies behind or alongside the Septuagint's Greek, to the complex textual status of the Bible, and to the irreducible role of translation in the shaping of literary, linguistic, and theological traditions. In so doing, it unsettles and undercuts conventional ideas about religious dogma, the essence of Greek culture, and translation. The analysis of Seferis's structural, grammatical, and lexical choices shows that he consistently refuses simply to absorb the Septuagint's Greek into Modern Greek, but instead underscores difference in hopes of creating a genuinely polyphonic text that would be adequate to the Septuagint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-298
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Modern Greek Studies
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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