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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Travel writing, like translation, produces images of the foreign which are the result of an asymmetrical relationship between perceiver (who belongs to the target culture) and perceived (who belongs to the source culture).
By targeting this readership as a consistent whole at a time when it was not yet perceived as such, literature was eventually instrumental in the unification of a specific social stratum. The ideological changes at work in the new ...
The recurrent gendering of the private as feminine, which has become common in feminist and non-feminist historiography and critical literature on the eighteenth century, has been perceived as problematic by some critics.
Not only were women perceived as essentially different because of their primarily reproductive function, but. from a rural economy to a pre-capitalist society, but many historians have located the early phases of the phenomenon later to ...
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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