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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English prose literature--Italian influences. 2. Women and literature--Great Britain--History--18th century. 3. British--Italy--History--18th century--Historiography. 4. English prose literature--18th century-- History and criticism. 5.
... points onanideal continuum,routesto follow, rather thancrossroads that pointtodefinite arrivals. By absorbing external influences initsaosmotic« capacity, and then engaging ina fruitfuldialogue with a number of disciplines, ...
In a century dominated bya pervasive, albeit often resisted French influence on many aspects of the British wayof life,the roleof Italy has been generally neglected. Roderick Marshall«s text,Italy in English Literature1755-1815, ...
... Lettersfrom Italy (1776) andHester Thrale Piozzi«s Observations and Reflections Madeinthe Course ofaJourney ThroughFrance,Italyand Germany (1789).The latterwas particularly well received by literarycircles inBritain andits influence ...
Women«s lives were strongly influenced by the new ideologyof the age of sensibility, but, at thesame time, women writers contributedto fashionit with their works,which weregiven unprecedented attentionby society.