«From Translation All Science Had It’s Of-spring»: John Florio and the Monstrous Birth of Knowledge

by Resolute John Florio
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This paper looks at John Florio’s comments on translation — especially in the Epistle Dedicatorie and To the Curteous Reader of his 1603 translation of Montaigne’s Essayes — and examines the extent to which Florio conceived of translation as a monstrous birth of knowledge. Crucial to this exploration are a remark of Florio’s friend Giordano Bruno that claimed science, or knowledge, was the offspring of translation; Florio’s definition of móstro from his 1598 Italian-English dictionary A Worlde of Wordes; and some of Montaigne’s remarks about the multiplicity and hybridity of both the essay form and the self. What emerges is a compelling nexus coming out of Bruno’s idea of translation, enacted by John Florio: a monstrous birth of words, worlds, and selves — multiple languages, multiple sciences, multiple offspring.

Author: Peter G. Platt | Language: English

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