Translating Italy for the Eighteenth Century: British Women, Translation and Travel Writing (1739-1797)
Routledge, 08.04.2014 - 178 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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Female literature displayed a peculiarly homogeneous character, which allowed women to carve a distinctively 'moral', feminine niche in the ...
... by proliferating meaning, instead of containing it, ultimately making apparent the provisional character of any approach developed to study translation.
As Catherine Gallagher puts it: “Fictional characters developed partly out of the artful employment of female authorial personae in the works of early ...
... (embodied by the paternal character of Isaac Bickerstaff in the Tatler, for example), Haywood did not position herself as superior to her readers.
In the following extract the characters discuss whether Haywood's name should suffer the same oblivion they agreed would be proper for the literary ...
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2 Female Translators in the Eighteenth Century The Role of Women as Literary Innovators ...
3 Elizabeth Carters Translation of Algarottis Newtonianismo per le Dame Female Learning and Feminist Cultural Appropriation ...
4 EighteenthCentury Travel Writing Constructing Images of the Other
5 Hester Piozzis Appropriation of the Image of Italy Gender and the Nation