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La récréation poétique : traduction et commentaire des Epigrammes de John Owen (1564 ?-1622)

Sylvain Durand 1 
1 CEMA - Centre d'Études du Moyen Âge
CERAM - CERAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherches Antiques et Médiévales - EA 173
Abstract : John Owen’s Epigrams represent an exceptional contribution in the neo-latin production, not only by the number of the poems, but also by the near perfection reached by the « English Martial » (welsh, actually) who made the elegiac couplet the prime instrument of his personal genius. Owen’s collection was met immediately with tremendous success in Great Britain as well as on the continent ; this success should last for more than a century, especially on the continent. The collection reflects his age of composition in many ways : the preference given to the satirical and moral inspiration, the cult of wity brevity and the passion for different types of puns were able to please the devotees of the new wit which spread then in England towards the end of elizabethan era. Thus, Owen’s epigram is above all an exercise of subtlety, and the study of the ten books, which are built on an artistic disorder, show as well the subtlety of the links! which rule their organisation. This organisation not only show the care given by the author to his work, which is a sign of ambition, but emphasize the remarkable variety of the subject which is certainly the rule for this special type of poetry, but also tell us Owen’s will for major eclecticism. Finally, we have to insist on the tradition to which the Epigrams are linked, that of moral poetry, and on the ironic treatment that the poet apply to commonplaces of gnomic sayings (or ordinary ones), inexhaustible source of inspiration for the witty epigrammatist who found there a way to surprise the reader. John Owen Latin epigrams are probably the wittiest and most pointed that have ever been produced in that tongue
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Sylvain Durand. La récréation poétique : traduction et commentaire des Epigrammes de John Owen (1564 ?-1622). Littératures. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle - Paris III, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012PA030143⟩. ⟨tel-00921382⟩

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