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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Identifying a tradition of female writing often implies a monolithic view of women '
s history as a long but steady process ... Thus , for example , early women writers
who appear to be at odds with current feminist criteria may easily be excluded ...
Women dominated the literature of sensibility : the widespread expectation of a
moral and didactic tone in women ' s writing meant that a large number of female
authors could now enter the literary profession without risking their reputations .
It might appear to be pushing the argument too far to say that travel writing is
endowed with a similar performative character as translation . Yet , in a certain
sense , travel writing does function as reality within the boundaries of the target
Was andere dazu sagen - Rezension schreiben
Female Translators in the Eighteenth Century
Elizabeth Carters Translation of Algarottis Newtonianismo
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