'On the Shoulders of Monkeys: Visibility of Translators in Renaissance Europe,' Early Modern Circle

North Theatre, Room 239 Old Arts, University of Melbourne

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Una McIlvenna


Dr Andrea Rizzi, University of Melbourne

In this paper, I discuss a specific kind of visibility used by the early modern translator: an “artistic visibility”, in which the mise en page of courtly monkeys and dogs offers visual cues for the reader and patron about the nature of the translation and the skills of the translator. I argue that the presence of monkey and dogs in manuscript and printed images accompanying early modern translation illuminate the translators’ self-aware agency, and the collaborative nature of their work.

Andrea Rizzi is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2014-2018) at the University of Melbourne. A former Fellow at The Villa I Tatti Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, he works on scribal and print cultures of Renaissance Italy, translation history, and anonymity in early modern literature. His most recent publications are: Vernacular Translators in Quattrocento Italy: Scribal Culture, Authority, and Agency (Brepols, 2017) and City, Court, Academy: Language Choice in Early Modern Italy (Routledge, 2017).

We hope to see many of you there. As usual, a group will go to dinner afterwards. All welcome.