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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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Translating Male and Female Discourses in Between the Acts - LOVRO ŠKOPLJANAC 121


LOVRO ŠKOPLJANAC Translating Male and Female Discourses in Between the Acts Some editions of Between the Acts contain a short note on the text by Leonard Woolf saying that Virginia ‘would probably have made a good many small corrections or revisions before passing the final proofs’.1 This note warns against a close reading of the novel on ac- count of its supposed incompleteness. At the same time, this sort of an “uncompleted” text may mean that the ‘accent falls differently’2 on some of its parts than it would have had in the final, revised version. The unrevised text is full (if that is the right word) of empty spaces and silences, which call for symbolic readings and entail a wide array of interpretations. Barbara Babcock notices that ‘[t]his last “unfinished” novel has been described, I think rightly, as both “the most symbolical of all Virginia Woolf’s works” [by David Daiches] and “the final most re- lentless achievement of that questioning and undermining of literary and historical narrative forms which she had been practicing through- out’ [by Rachel Bowlby]’.3 Although Babcock believes that these di- verging interpretations are primarily the result of feminist reflexivity coded into the text and have little to do with its being left unrevised, the fact remains that the characters in the novel seem to express clearly defined stances, while evading conclusive arguments that would appear in a type of nineteenth-century Russian novel that Woolf admired. Unlike most of Woolf’s novels, in Between the Acts...

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