The Translation of Myth as Visual Poetry

We have been reflecting on the first theme of our blog ‘Translating Myth’ for a few months and ready to move onto a new theme in June, which we will announce soon.

But before doing that, we would like to offer our own contribution on the topic of myth and translation.  This is a visual translation of a passage from the myth of Pygmalion. The Greek myth of Pygmalion and of its beautiful statue Galatea, as told in Latin by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, narrates the story of the great sculptor Pygmalion who creates a stunning statue.  Already disillusioned by the ‘real’ women he meets, he asks the goddess Aphrodite/Venus during a festival dedicated to her, to turn his ivory, white-as-milk statue into a real woman. The goddess grants to Pygmalion his wish and instills life into the statue. When Pygmalion returns home the metamorphosis begins, occurring in the most wonderful of ways. The statue slowly becomes warmer under his touch, the ivory softens like wax, malleable, flexible under Pygmalion’s thumb. Her paleness becomes less so, she blushes, and her rigid skin turns supple, until she awakens. Our translation focuses on the specific moment when the metamorphosis occurs. To view and read our translation of this transformation go to ‘Translations and other Writings‘, or click here.

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