Translating Italy for the Eighteenth Century: Women, Translation, and Travel Writing, 1739-1797
St. Jerome Pub., 2002 - 169 Seiten
Translating Italy in the Eighteenth Century offers a historical analysis of the role played by translation in that complex redefinition of women's writing that was taking place in Britain in the second half of the eighteenth century. It investigates the ways in which women writers managed to appropriate images of Italy and adapt them to their own purposes in a period which covers the 'moral turn' in women's writing in the 1740s and foreshadows the Romantic interest in Italy at the end of the century.
A brief survey of translations produced by women in the period 1730-1799 provides an overview of the genres favoured by women translators, such as the moral novel, sentimental play and a type of conduct literature of a distinctively 'proto-feminist' character. Elizabeth Carter's translation of Francesco Algarotti's II Newtonianesimo per le Dame (1739) is one of the best examples of the latter kind of texts. A close reading of the English translation indicates a 'proto-feminist' exploitation of the myth of Italian women's cultural prestige.
Another genre increasingly accessible to women, namely travel writing, confirms this female interest in Italy. Female travellers who visited Italy in the second half of the century, such as Hester Piozzi, observed the state of women's education through the lenses provided by Carter. Piozzi's image of Italy, a paradoxical mixture of imagination and realistic observation, became a powerful symbolic source, which enabled the fictional image of a modern, relatively egalitarian British society to take shape.
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Even more important , Piozzi ' s work seems to provide the link between the early
proto - feminist interest in Italy ( documented by Carter ' s translation ) and the
widespread use of an Italian setting in the female Gothic . Piozzi ( and also Miller
The most significant difference between Piozzi and Addison , however , concerns
the myth of classical Rome , which plays such an important role in Remarks on
Italy , as has been argued earlier . Piozzi lays emphasis on the barbarous rites of
It seems more important to notice Piozzi ' s dextrous manipulation of the image of
Italy to shape a fictitious British society which could ideally accommodate new ,
gendered individuals . Women were capable of recognizing and exploiting the ...
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Female Translators in the Eighteenth Century
Elizabeth Carters Translation of Algarottis Newtonianismo
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