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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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The Fatal Loss: Virginia Woolf’s ‘One’ and its Destiny in Croatian, Serbian and Italian Translations - IVA GRGIC MAROEVIC 181


IVA GRGIû MAROEVIû The Fatal Loss: Virginia Woolf’s ‘One’ and its Destiny in Croatian, Serbian and Italian Translations In a recent study, “Who are you, who are we in A Room of One’s Own?”,1 Mercedes Bengoechea compares the linguistic and textual treatment that Jorge Luis Borges and María Milagros Rivera-Garretas have given to the personal pronouns ‘you’ and ‘we’ and the verbs at- tached to them in their respective translations into Spanish of Virginia Woolf’s fundamental essay.2 Bengoechea rightfully states that gen- dering language in translation is a grammatical necessity for some languages (many Romance languages, but also Slavic ones), that the intervention is ‘usually resolved in indirect and inexplicit ways’, but that most translations use ‘patriarchal verbal conventions’ in an ‘ap- parently innocent way when assigning gender, without expressly re- vealing their stance’.3 My interest in Virginia Woolf’s pronouns originates from the time I first started translating A Room of One’s Own into Croatian and was, during the process, confronted with much the same problems as those articulated by Bengoechea.4 When is the indirect or inexplicit in my language good enough for the directness or explicitness of the original, and vice versa? When is an apparently innocent choice in my 1 Mercedes Bengoechea, “Who are you, who are we in A Room of One's Own? The difference that sexual difference makes in Borges’ and Rivera-Garretas’s translations of Virginia Woolf’s essay”, European Journal of Women's Studies, 18:4 (2011), pp. 409-423. 2 Borges’ translation dates back to 1935-36,...

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