Thursday Seminar - “Monkey Business: Translators’ Self-expression and Self-fashioning in Renaissance Europe”


Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6:00pm


Gould Hall

The visual and cultural depiction of the relationship between man and monkey is the focus of this seminar. In particular, Andrea Rizzi will explore a specific representation of monkeys in early modern visual images that has received relatively little attention: monkeys as conceptual metaphors for translators and their collaborative work. Obviously, translators were and are expected to imitate the author's style and voice, but to what extent was being the ape of the translated author acceptable or desirable for the translator? A fine line separated a ‘schluraffen’, or lazy ape, from Erasmus’s ‘ape of Cicero’. This seminar will explore where the translators placed themselves in this early modern imitation paradigm.

Andrea Rizzi (VIT'11) is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2014–18) at the University of Melbourne. He has published on vernacular translators in early Renaissance Italy; courtly culture in Ferrara and Mantua; Italian diplomats, and translators at the court of Elizabeth I.