An amateur at the court of the classics

by Mario Marchetti

The translation of the ancient classics destined for a wide and naturally well-educated public enjoyed a revival of interest around the end of the 1970s mainly thanks to series like the new BUR collection published by Rizzoli and the ‘Oscar classici latini e greci’ by Mondadori. There is a considerable difference between the great translation movement linked with the Neo-classical period and the present time. Following a rapid glance at the nineteenth century and first half of the last century (as far as the false splendours of Fascism) before approaching the main subject, this article focuses on the ‘modernist’ versions (with examples) of the classics translated by Quasimodo, Pasolini, Sanguineti and Ceronetti.