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Literary Retranslation in Context


Edited By Susanne M. Cadera and Andrew Samuel Walsh

The present study examines the interrelation between literary texts, their successive retranslations and the corresponding historical, social and cultural backgrounds that inform these versions. In the case of each text, the authors analyse both the external factors (sociohistorical circumstances, publishing context, authors, translators, etc.) and the internal ones (text analysis, translation procedures or strategies) that influence this interrelation. The book also considers how the decision to retranslate a literary work may be due not only to the commercial criteria established by publishers, but also to external developments in the historical, cultural or social environment of the target culture, or to an evolution in the poetic and aesthetic considerations of the translations themselves, since translational activities and approaches change and evolve over time. Consequently, the procedures inherent in translation may influence the reception and perception of the original text in the target culture. Finally, the book explores how the retranslations of a work of literature may even change the image of an author and the perception of his or her work that has been established by previous translations.
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4 Zeno Cosini Comes to Spain: The Response to Italo Svevo and the First Censored Edition of La coscienza di Zeno (1956) (José Luis Aja Sánchez)


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4 Zeno Cosini Comes to Spain: The Response to Italo Svevo and the First Censored Edition of La coscienza di Zeno (1956)


The reception in Spain of a classic author such as Italo Svevo (1861–1928) is influenced by three factors that characterize the cultural polysystem of the target language: the aesthetic canon, the decisions of the publishing sector and the presence of censorship. The identification of Italian culture with Neorealism drew attention away from an introspective author such as Italo Svevo, and therefore he only became known quite late in Spain. The sensibility of certain independent publishers led to the first Spanish translation of La coscienza di Zeno (1956), a version subject to several omissions imposed by the censor. A detailed analysis of those passages which were eliminated has allowed us to establish some taxonomies for censorship and an assessment of this first translation as a historical document. The reconstruction of the message in the target culture, with its gaps and defects, allows us to make a sociological evaluation of this first version, which was a faithful reflection of the period in which it was published. Freedom of expression, changes in literary tastes and the fact that Svevo’s work is no longer subject to copyright have all led to new translations of La coscienza di Zeno, Una vita and Senilità, his three main novels. Researchers are therefore now able to carry out new analyses...

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