Date 1865-04-08
Publication Athenaeum
Topic Refute review, correct facts
AP display
RA display
Subject literature
Keywords correction
  ↳ interpretation
  ↳ reference
Standards linguistic truth
  ↳ authenticity
  ↳ correctness
Notes WMR Dante translation defended.

Annotation details

65 April 8 Athenaeum


rebut review of WMR's Dante translation.


Rossetti, William M. "Miscellanea." Athenaeum (1865): 497. Online. 21 September 2011.


Rossetti refutes the reviewer of his translation of Dante's The Inferno, citing the reviewer's use-deliberate or otherwise-of only part of Rossetti's quote about the oddity of Dante to the English.

Rossetti cites the particular quote chosen by the reviewer which does not encompass the full statement he made, which as a result produces a different meaning than that which he intended and which only readers of the full quote could comprehend. The truncated statement quoted by the reviewer leaves Rossetti appearing "less reverent to Dante than I should like to pass for."

Rossetti disagrees with the reviewer regarding the correct and authentic translation of the word "forte" in The Inferno, offering his own grounds for the usage in his translation. After the conclusion of Rossetti's discussion, The Athenaeum presents its own references for the correct usage of the Italian term, concluding that their reviewer has chosen the proper translation ("difficult") rather than Rossetti's translation, "strong."

Rossetti's argument is brief and to the point, a quality typical in his rebuttal letters. He uses the incomplete quotation as grounds to invalidate the reviewer's ethos, pointing out that the reviewer has not considered his statement or his translation wholly before rendering a critical judgment that is thereby suspect. This pattern when applied to the term "forte" is a similar shortcoming of the reviewer: the reviewer doesn't completely understand both Dante and Italian in the authentic context within which both are rooted, so the reviewer's judgment must be incorrect.


correction, interpretation, reference


evaluative, definitive


logical, deliberate