Monday, September 5, 2016

Donovan and Kennedy Have A Spat

In the notes to Brian Donovan's translation of the "Encomium of Helen," which we will be discussing in lecture Tuesday, mention is made of George Kennedy's slick but perhaps not quite strictly literal translation of section 12. As you can see from my transcription below, this version is indeed more euphonious but the gist is mostly the same where it matters most (or so I would say), but Kennedy has made the rough places smooth if not always in well-warranted ways:

"What cause then prevents the conclusion that Helen similarly, against her will, might have come under the influence of speech, just as if ravished by the force of the mighty? For it was possible to see how the force of persuasion prevails; persuasion has the form of necessity, but it does not have the same power. For speech constrained the soul, persuading it which it persuaded, both to believe the things said and to approve the things done. The persuader, like the constrainer, does the wrong and the persuaded, like the constrained, in speech is wrongly charged."

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