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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Thus, for example, groups with a marginal cultural position can appeal to the prestige of a foreign tradition in order to validate their cultural or ideological claims, which may differ in a substantial way from those generally ...
For example, lack of group identity, privileged social position and access to male patronage are the most common arguments used to belittle pre-1700 women and their writing. Aristocratic women such as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu or ...
Even ground-breaking narratives of the emergence of an early modern self such as Armstrong (1987) appear to frustrate those critics who do not accept their analysis of the feminine as a broad discursive position to be adopted ...
On the contrary, as Mills puts it, the very “adoption of certain subject positions is a type of action which has consequences” (1997: 103). Women's lives were strongly influenced by the new ideology of the age of sensibility, ...
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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