chapter
A. Changing Concepts of Language and Translation
ByB. Between Antiqui and Moderni: Medieval Bilingual Cultural Centres C. Romancing Latin: Renaissance Vernaculars
Pages 6

The seventeenth century, partly through the new translations of Aristotle, Galen, and Pliny, saw the beginnings of the scientific investigation of nature that inform the poetics of two bilingual writers of this era, John Donne in England and Sor Juana de la Cruz in Mexico or New Spain. Much of their work incorporates the neoplatonic precept that poetic writing transcends the world of appearances and thereby imitates divine truth directly. Donne was a noted theological writer in prose, and indeed his prime self-translated text is a prose work on theological matters as embodied in certain historical figures. In Sor Juana's self-translations, there to be two types of heretical risk-taking in Sor Juana's work, functions of theology and gender. The Franco-Italian Carlo Goldoni, one of the most prolific playwrights of the late commedia dell'arte tradition, was also a leading bilingual literary figure of the eighteenth century. Goldoni's characters are a great deal more complex and multidimensional than those of traditional commedia.