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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Enter Clorinda (6)

* Reading Tasso's poetry is difficult even for Italians because of the often odd structure of sentences, drawing on Latin or even Greek syntax. Here, we even find two Greek accusatives, or accusatives of respect, i.e. a structure in which the expressions "Clorinda with her face naked" or "a helm with broken straps" are literally built as "Clorinda naked-her-face" and "the helm broken-its-straps."

This, together with the internal rhythm of a hendecasyllable, also provides a Freudian insight into Tancred's mind, as a verbatim translation of verse 4 would imply: ". . .  and she naked [pause] her face does remain."