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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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‘Acting like a Thief’: Fatimah Na‘ut Translates Virginia Woolf in Egypt - PAOLA VIVIANI 145


PAOLA VIVIANI ‘Acting like a Thief’. FƗډimah NƗ‘njt Translates Virginia Woolf in Egypt The influence and incidence of Virginia Woolf’s art on Arabic fiction has been utterly evident since the 1960s.1 In fact, it may be said that it was so even some years before, in the second half of the Fifties, when a new era of experimentation – finally leading to the so-called “New Sensibility” of the Sixties – both in form and content emerged, thus answering a strongly felt need for for change and for rebellion against a suffocating socio-political situation. This period covers the whole epoch of ࡖamƗl ‘Abd al-NƗٿir’s regime (1954-1970), closely linked to Realism in literature and, also, to its rejection, which paved the way to the birth of the above-mentioned innovative mode of writing.2 Be- sides, it is of the utmost importance to remember what Virginia Woolf represents when one deals with gender and feminist issues, since she strived for women’s liberation from so many yokes. Needless to say, the two topics – that is gender and creativity, especially female crea- tivity – are constantly intertwined and interdependent in her work, thus providing a fundamental basis of departure for women authors doing their best for the sake of their own freedom, either on a personal level or in the literary arena. In some nations, these are still a vehe- mently defended men’s stronghold, as they were during Woolf’s life- time in Great Britain, a situation she deeply criticized. Nowadays special focus is put more...

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