A new book, put together by scholars and translators of 17th century poet John Milton from across the globe explores the wide reaching impact of his literary works. This book also marks the 350th anniversary of his masterpiece “Paradise Lost” (1667).
The book titled, “Milton in Translation” has been produced by Prof Angelica Duran, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Purdue University (USA), Islam Issa, Lecturer in English Literature at Birmingham City University (UK), and Jonathan R Olson, newly-appointed Assistant Professor of English at Grand Canyon University (USA).
It represents the world’s first detailed research into how Milton has been translated and read across the globe, and reveals previously unknown stories of the writer’s significance.
The editors of the book recruited a global array of contributors who researched the number of translations, the languages and the significance of Milton across dozens of countries and hundreds of texts.
“The inspiration for this book came in 2012 after the 10th International Milton Symposium in Tokyo, the first time the gathering had been held outside Europe or North America. It hit us how international Milton had become. It became particularly exciting finding how many languages Milton’s work had been translated into since he was famously a multilingual himself,” said Islam Issa, Lecturer in English Literature at Birmingham City University, who came up with idea.
“This book shows the real reach of literature, even if it’s from 350 years ago. It also confirms that Milton’s works, particularly ‘Paradise Lost’, have themes that are both universal and adaptable to different contexts,” he added.
Among other findings, the book explores the relationship between Milton and politics across the world, reflecting the anti-establishment character of the author who played a role in ordering the execution of King Charles I.
The works of John Milton have been translated more than 300 times and into 57 different languages. “Milton in Translation” has been published by the Oxford University Press.