Une traduction manuscrite en grec moderne : "L' histoire du compte de Comminge et d' Adelaide"

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Αθήνη, Στέση
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In the rich collection of the Romanian Academy Library two manuscripts are preserved, containing a Greek translation of the french novel, “Memoires du Comte de Comminge”. The first one, dated on the 23rd December 1805 is complete, whereas the second one, which is later, is incomplete. Having had access to the first one my interest is now focused only on the second one which is entitled the “Story of the Count of Comminge and Adelaide”. There is no mention of the author by the anonymous translator. We have however some indications that its immediate source had been the version of Baculard d’Arnaud. In the fisrst place the works of this author had already appeared in the area of the South-Eastern European culture. Second, the Greek subtitle “The miserable lovers or the Count of Comminge” is likely to have originated on Baculard d’ Arnaud’s miscellany and not by Mme de Tencin, the actual author. Third, the novel is accompagnied by the Greek translation of the verse epistle “The letter of the Count of Comminge to his mother”; the “heroid” of Dorat which was included in Baculard d’Arnaud’s miscellany. The intention of the anonymous translator, as he declares in his introduction, is his own training in a language through translation. The collation between the French and the translated text proves to be a faithfull version, due to his frequent gallicisms. On the other hand one can discern important deviations on Dorat’s verse epistle “The letter of the Count of Comminge to his mother”: the 504 verses of the original text are reduced to 140. Although the translator’s scope is not limited within the scope of a training in translation, it is extended to a communication with the reader. The emotional dimension of the novel could satisfy the taste for sentimentality which had characterised the modern Greek literary system since the last decade of the XVIIIth century as it has been proved by the vogue for translated fiction and melodrama. The protest against the patriarchism and the authoritarian behaviour of the family and at the same time the free expression of the sentiment —his fundamental traits— let it been incorporated in the tradition of the texts inaugurated by the Greek edition of Restif de la Bretonne’s novels. His feminist streak could equally correspond to the new tendancy of the women’s emancipation. The modern Greek translation of “The Story of the Count of Comminge and Adelaide” taking place in the social-cultural context of the Danubian Principalities can be considered as a representative sample of translation activity in Phanariot times. It evokes the inclination of this ambience towards the modern fiction, diffused mainly through manuscripts to an audience of initiated, although limited readers; it also evokes scholars’ preference to the source-oriented translation.
Manuscrits neo-helleniques, Memoires du comte de Comminge