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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Many critics witnessed this with a mixture of complacency and resentment and almost every reviewer remarked on the unprecedented extent of women«s writing. Female literature displayed a peculiarly homogeneous character, which allowed ...
Literary history hasoften pointed to the pervasiveinfluence of theexotic landscapes ofthe female Gothic on the (predominantly male) ... The influence of previous female kinds of writing, onthe other hand, has never been inquired into.
1Barker and Chalus (1997) argue that, until recently, scholars working within the traditionofwomen«s history generally laid more emphasis onthe common aspectsof women«s historical experiences, at the expense of their extreme diversity, ...
Thus domestic discourses can beconsidered asa remarkable contribution totheestablishment of a commercial economy centred onthe individual, who could set himselfapart from the corrupt world ruled by aristocratic privilege.
Yet the success andthevery existence of these periodicals depended onthe economic transformation theyseemed to denigrate. The third Earlof Shaftesbury was one ofthemain influences behind the reaction against individualism implicit in ...