The Cabinet of Curiosities, a Literary and Translatological Metaphor Cover Image

Cabinetul de curiozități, metaforă literară și traductologică
The Cabinet of Curiosities, a Literary and Translatological Metaphor

Author(s): Iulia Cosma
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Editura Universităţii de Vest din Timişoara
Keywords: literary history; history of translation; cabinet of curiosities; Italian Renascence epic poems; translation studies

Summary/Abstract: The present paper aims to investigate to what extent Horst Bredekamp's research on the conceptual history of the cabinet of curiosities and his observations regarding the modern avatars of this particular way of collecting, as presented in The Lure of Antiquity and the Cult of the Machine. The Kunstkammer and the Evolution of Nature, Art and Technology (consulted in Romanian translation), could be applied to fields like literary history and the history of translation, our point being that the cabinet of curiosities itself could be regarded as a functional metaphor, illuminating narrative choices, criteria and strategies applied in the selection of characters, both in literary works and in historical studies of literature and translation. For what are writers and translators but fictional characters in a collection of objective facts and more or less subjective interpretations? The first part of the study focuses upon two famous Italian Renascence epic poems, Orlando Innamorato by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto, in order to underline that the presence of numerous feminine characters in those works could be considered similar to a collection of curiosities, prior to the actual existence of that sort of cabinets (1540-1740), as a reflection of a forma mentis that Bredekamp identified, referring to Parmigianino's Portrait of a collector (c 1523), as the Humanist spirit that presides the taste for collecting (Bredekamp 2007: 15). The final part is concerned with the metaphorical potential that the cabinet of curiosities has in the unveiling of methodology applied in historical research dedicated to literature and translation.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 53
  • Page Range: 183-189
  • Page Count: 7