Imitation as spoliation, reception as translation : the art of transforming things in Byzantium

Variant title
Imitace jako spoliace, recepce jako překlad : umění transformace věcí v Byzanci
Author: Nilsson, Ingela
Source document: Convivium. 2021, vol. 8, iss. Supplementum 2, pp. [20]-37
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
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This article revisits the issue of creative recycling in Byzantine literature by examining two concepts as possible alternatives to terms such as imitation, adaptation and reception, namely spoliation and translation. The term spoliation is here used for describing transformation on a formal and technical level (for instance for methods that establish textual relations, such as citation and paraphrasis), while the term translation is used to describe transfer or translocation on the cultural-ideological level (often referred to as appropriation). It is suggested that the two concepts can be combined in order to cover both literary techniques and socio-cultural meaning in discussions of Byzantine texts, and perhaps especially for those that cross cultural and linguistic boundaries. With a point of departure in Julia Kristeva's concept of intertextuality, the links between material culture and texts are underlined and brought to the fore in a discussion of meaning, referentiality and agency.
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