Self-Translation in the Northern Renaissance: Jan van der Noot’s French Verse


Abstract


The Brabantian poet Jan van der Noot (1539-95?) wrote in both Dutch and French, and composed several works in both languages. Sometimes the two versions were published separately: the Dutch collection Het Theatre and its French counterpart, Le Theatre, were each printed in London in 1568. More often, the versions appeared alongside each other in bilingual editions: Cort begryp der XII boeken Olympiados / Abregé des douze livres Olympiades (1579), Lofsang van Braband / Hymne de Braband (1580), and various short pieces reproduced in anthologies of Van der Noot’s poetry (1580-95). The present study contends that Van der Noot’s self-translations should be read as translations from Dutch to French, rather than from French to Dutch as scholars have commonly assumed. It examines Van der Noot’s self-translational strategies, focusing in particular on his handling of form and versification, and the role played by paratext and illustrations. In doing so, it offers an alternative perspective on a figure whose translational activity is generally considered to have operated in the opposite direction, introducing innovations into Dutch poetry by imitating the work of Ronsard and the Pléiade.


Keywords


Jan van der Noot; self-translation; versification; paratext; bilingual printing; early modern literature; Dutch poetry; French poetry

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