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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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Virginia Woolf’s storia parallela: TranslatingThree Guineas into Italian - ORIANA PALUSCI 199

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ORIANA PALUSCI Virginia Woolf’s storia parallela: Translating Three Guineas into Italian ‘The black night that now covers Europe’ That the writer is interested in politics needs no saying. Every publisher’s list, almost every book that is now issued, brings proof of the fact.1 In the thirties Virginia Woolf was increasingly involved in a new lit- erary and also political project, in which fiction and essay were to blend2 and capture the sense of precariousness of the decade, its fear of a military confrontation between the great European powers and the need for educated women, ‘the daughters of educated men’ to speak out and define their own strategies in an unstable world. Three Guin- eas, published in 1938, as a separate work, and not together with the novel The Years as Woolf had planned, is one of Virginia’s experi- ments in form, an essay on ‘an extended analysis of the social and economic position on women and a political treatise against Fas- cism’,3 or, as Julia Briggs more strongly calls it, ‘a feminist pamphlet and an anti-fascist pamphlet’.4 A sound evidence of the breadth of Woolf’s cultural background, interests and readings, Three Guineas 1 Virginia Woolf, “Why Art Today Follows Politics”, Daily Worker, 14 December 1936, p. 4. 2 On Friday 3 June 1938, Woolf writes in her Diary about her novel-essay The Pargiters: ‘lumping The Years & 3 Gs together as one book – as indeed they are’ (The Diary of Virginia Woolf, vol. 5 1936-1941, edited by Anne Olivier Bell,...

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