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Lot 0034

Fausto, Sebastiano. Dialogo del Fausto da Longiano, del modo de lo tradurre d'vna in altra lingua segondo le regole mostrate da Cicerone. Venice: Giovanni Griffo for Avanzi, 1556. [at colophon:] In Venetia: per Gio. Griffio: ad instanza di Lodouico delli Auanzi, 1556.

8vo (148x102 mm), modern stiff vellum, ff. 54, [2].

Very scarce first and only edition of this treatise in form of Dialogue on the best way to translate from a language to another one.

More than Dolet's Maniere de bien traduire (1540) this is considered the most thorough Renaissance treatise on translation prior to Lawrence Humphrey's Interpretatio linguarum (1559). The work is dedicated to the members of the Accademia dei Costanti of Vicenza, which was founded shortly before the publication of Fausto's treatise in reaction to the rival Accademia Olimpica, with a very conservative program and for aristocratic members only. Fausto's treatise is written in form of a dialogue between Inquieto, who asks the questions and Occulto (Fausto himself), who gives the answers.

ëThe interest of this work, however, lies in more than its restatement of Cicero's rules for rhetorical translation [...]. Longiano's treatise appears, then, to make a decisive break with what we have called the disruptive fallacy. Point by point, he has taken Cicero's brief statement on translation and built it, through gloss and commentary, into a finely structured work not only corrective, but innovative in spirit. The result is a microcosm of the entire translative act with the two subdivisions of the second part summarizing the stages of that act. At the initial level (Argument, Arrangement, Elocution), the Translator is a Reader with all the analytical and perceptual commitments implied in the term; at the narrower level (Composition, Dignity and Number), he transposes these insights, gleaned as Reader, into the speculative function of Writer. Together, the two functions are predicated on a deeper awareness that reciprocity between any two languages is at best relative, sometimes determined by precise equivalencies in morphology and syntax, at other times, by new and transforming patterns of expression. This relativistic credo, in fact, cuts across each topic treated by Longiano, turning his work into an affirmation that where there is no attempt to sort out the articulative potency of language, grasping its inseparability from ideas, there can be no translation» (G.L. Norton, The ideology and language of translation in Renaissance France and their humanist antecedents, Geneve, 1984, p. 202).

Sebastiano Fausto was a professional translator and editor, author of a treatise on education of Erasmus spirit and an important commented edition of Petrarch (1532). He translated numerous works of Cicero. Among his many other translations only Pietro Gherardo's Vita di Ezzelino da Romano, Platina's Vite dei pontefici and Guevara's Vita di Marco Aurelio may be mentioned. He also wrote treatises on such different subjects as duels, matrimony and meteorology.

«Treatise on the theory of translation by Sebastiano Fausto, professional translator and editor, author of a treatise on education and an important edition of Petrarch, which discusses the principles on which a good translation must be based, and the rules which a translator ought to follow. The translator, who must have a perfect understanding of the author's subject matter and the author's language, should not translate literally, but should express the meaning of the author with due regard for idioms of both languages, and avoid using words which are merely modernized forms of Latin words. The work is dedicated to the members of the Academia dei Costanti of Vicenza to which the author himself belonged». See G. Frasso, Sebastiano Fausto: editore e volgarizzatore di storici medioevali e umanistici, in Aevum, LXIV, p. 365.

References: Not in Adams. Cnce, 18634. OCLC, 60593623. A Scapellini, Fausto da Longiano, in «Studi Romagnoli», 10, 1959, pp. 283-300. M. Maylander, Storia delle Accademie in Italia, Bologna 1930, II, pp. 114-117. M. Ballard, De Ciceron Benjamin: traducteurs, traductions, reflexions, Villeneuve d'Arcq, 2007, pp. 96-97. M. Furlan, La Retorica de la Traduccion en el Renacimiento. Elementos para la constitucion de una teoria de la traduccion renacentista, Barcelona, 2002, pp. 271-300. B. Guthmaller, Fausto da Longiano e il problema del tradurre, in: Quaderni veneti, 12, 1990, pp. 9-152. H. Kittel, J. House, B. Schulz, et al., eds., Translation: an international encyclopedia of translation studies, (Berlin & New York, 2004), p. 1382; F.M. Rener, In principium erat verbum: traditional principles concerning words and their order in translating, in: P. Bensimon (ed.), «L'ordre des mots», Paris, 1993, p. 34.


A fine copy, clean and crisp.

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[Art of Translating] Fausto, 1556

Estimate €700 - €900
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