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Translating Virginia Woolf


Edited By 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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A Systemic Functional Approach to Translating Point of View Shift in Flush-MIRKO CASAGRANDA 109


MIRKO CASAGRANDA A Systemic Functional Approach to Translating Point of View Shift in Flush The eyes of others our prisons; Their thoughts our cages.1 The epigraph to this paper is taken from An Unwritten Novel, one of Virginia Woolf’s first short stories to be published in 1921 in Monday or Tuesday together with other ‘five-finger exercises, preliminary sketches for the full-scale experiments to come’.2 It is a reminder of the deep connections existing not only among human beings, but also between writer and reader, author and character. It seems that when- ever the task of plunging into the inner world of another self is ac- complished, let alone giving him/her a fictional life on the page of a novel, one is inextricably entangled in a semantic web whose threads are made of multifaceted and multi-directional thoughts, feelings and perspectives that both writer and reader have to twist and untwist in a joint effort. In her deep understanding of human nature, Woolf knew that in order to portray a character and to depict life for what it truly is, the writer needs to be trapped in the fluid realm created by the characters’ polymorphous gazes and thoughts, almost as if the latter were win- dows onto the world the author opens and closes following the direc- tion of the breeze that human consciousness represents. Indeed, Woolf successfully transferred on the page the inner world of her characters by means of a masterful employment of point of view shift, which al- lows...

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