The contribution features the problems of interpreting similes and metaphors in Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra). Theories of literature interface with theories of translation and offer an integrated approach. The relevance of the ‘as if’ marker of comparison in Shakespeare’s magic realism is juxtaposed Plutarch’s historical descriptions. Multi-lingual translation of both authors are considered and contextualized.

This contribution is about the role and function of description and descriptive texts. It outlines the status of description in scientific texts and their translation, and textual functions. The examples cited feature the descriptions of planets (Galileo, Schiaparelli, Lowell) and their interpretations, considering the technical instruments which upgraded optical visualization in mapping and describing.

This paper highlights the problem of ‘validity in interpretation’ and the visual and verbal transmigration of symbols and myths. It considers historical narratives like that of Plutarch’s Life of Antony, and its interpretations. It highlights the hermetic inspiration in Shakespeare’s tragedy, and the influence of Elizabethan occultism (Frances Yates) and Neo-Platonism. It also considers a modern Egyptian translation of Cleopatra’s death, Maşrahʾ Kīlūbatra (Ahmad Shauqi, 1929).

These studies focus on post-colonial literature and the question of landscape. The language of landscape epitomizes a literary and cultural identity difficult to translate into European languages and literary traditions unfamiliar with words and their meaning. Geographic writing and botanical nomenclature, and the preservation of indigenous phytonyms defines the identity and specificity of post-colonial authors. The relevance of ‘writing worlds’ and recent theories of space and human geography may serve as tools for a critical appraisal of Australian and New Zealand space, and consequent translatability. In the case of Frame, as in Katherine Mansfield, and the Australian Joan Lindsay, flowerscapes and gardenscapes, and the symbolism of water and sea outline specific themes, as that of an age of innocence juxtaposed by a constant ‘state of siege’.

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