Dante asserts his moral right

I picked up the Collins Classics edition of the Inferno at a secondhand bookstore and tried to find out who the translator was — only to find that he was completely uncredited. The colophon duly credits the author of the preface, the dictionary from which the glossary was adapted, and even the company that did the typesetting, but you will scour the volume in vain for the slightest hint that every word of the text was actually written by a certain H. W. Longfellow.

My search did turn up this rather amusing notice, though.

Dante asserts his moral right

That’s right, Dante Alighieri, who died in 1321 but was apparently far ahead of his time when it came to intellectual property law, asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work. If only Longfellow had thought to do the same!

Consulting another Collins Classics volume, I was even more amused to discover that Homer — you know, the semi-legendary poet who may or may not have lived in or around the 8th century B.C. — asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of the Iliad. He ought to sue Giambattista Vico.

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