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Translating Virginia Woolf

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Oriana Palusci

Translating Virginia Woolf is a collection of essays that discusses the theory and practice of translation from an interdisciplinary perspective, involving research areas such as literature, linguistics, sociolinguistics, cultural studies, and history. It is the outcome of a selection of papers given at the international conference by the same title, held at the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’ in 2010.
Interweaving literary threads and target languages such as Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, German, Italian, Serbian, Spanish, and Swedish, this volume traces the history of the translation and reception of Woolf’s fiction and feminist pamphlets. It investigates the strategies of translation of several of her works in different countries and cultural contexts through the contrastive analysis of one or more editions of the same Woolfian text. The final result is a symphony of languages, spreading the notes of Virginia Woolf’s modernist and feminist discourse across Europe and beyond.

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Anna Banti Translates Jacob’s Room - VITA FORTUNATI 15

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VITA FORTUNATI Anna Banti Translates Jacob’s Room Anna Banti’s translation of Virginia Woolf’s novel Jacob’s Room (pseudonym used by Lucia Lopresti), writer, art historian, essayist, operating in Italy from the 1940s, prompts a reflection on the complex problem of the asymmetries in linguistic and cultural exchanges that take place in the act of translating. Anna Banti and Virginia Woolf were two women artists, two in- tellectuals who cared deeply about the issue of woman’s emancipa- tion. They lived in different social contexts and historical eras: Woolf in early twentieth-century England, Banti in post-World War II Italy, during the reconstruction years. Endowed with a strong temperament and personality, both of them dedicated their lives to writing novels, essays, translations, and had to learn to be heard in a world dominated by overpowering male figures: in Woolf’ case, first her dominating father Leslie Stephen, the renowned biographer and, later, the intellec- tuals of the Bloomsbury group; in Anna’s case, her husband, the fa- mous art historian Roberto Longhi. Banti was not only an art historian and an essayist, but also a writer of fiction: a series of novels, published between 1940 and 1949, narrate the tragedy of denied female talent and the difference in women’s way of feeling and living: Il coraggio delle donne (1940), Vocazioni indistinte (1940), Artemisia (1947), Le donne muoiono (1948). In these novels, historical reality blends with fiction and with features drawn from her own personal autobiography. From this point of view, her fascinating novel Artemisia about the...

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