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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Hence , translation here is probably close to Lefevere's notion of rewriting ' ( 1992
) , although the nature of the original , Italy in this case , is particularly elusive . By
widening the limits of translation to include ' refracted ' phenomena such as ...
Algarotti's work is acclaimed as a significant novelty , a simplified version of
Newton's theory , tailored to the female reader's needs : Now may the British fair ,
with Newton , soar To worlds remote , and range all nature o'er ; Of motion learn
But its derivative nature is not only a ' debt ' that has to be recognized : it is the
very condition upon which the transformative power of translation is constituted .
By arguing that translation takes place within the boundaries of “ an existing ...
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Female Translators in the Eighteenth Century
Elizabeth Carters Translation of Algarottis Newtonianismo
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