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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Another revisionof systemic models which has been devoted particularly ample space is that provided by Maria Tymoczko withthe notion of localism inhistorical research on translation. Very briefly discussedby Tymoczko herself, ...
... by individuals inthe specific contexts oftime and place) and on a notion of women«swriting that resists traditionalcategories of literary genres, is particularly fruitful in feminist studies of eighteenth-century literature.
which stressed the importance of innate virtues over physical appearance, has been interpreted as masking the opposition between the traditional aristocratic notion of display and a more recent fascination with the natural qualities of ...
Feminist cultural theoristsand historians who see discursive frameworks as open to specific forms of negotiation (which are the fruit of contingent socio-historical conditions) and havesubstituted the notion of selfwiththat of subject ...
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