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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 Feminist Discourses in Virginia Woolf’s “Anon” - ELEONORA FEDERICI 215


ELEONORA FEDERICI Translating Feminist Discourses in Virginia Woolf’s “Anon” Introduction My essay takes into consideration a less known and unfinished piece of writing by Virginia Woolf, “Anon”, where the author outlines from a feminist perspective a different literary canon, a ‘dismantled’ idea of tradition and a proposal for new genres. I agree with Noemi Black’s definition of Virginia Woolf’s feminism as political,1 and my aim is to demonstrate how feminist discourses ‘ante litteram’ are ‘translated’ in “Anon”. This fragmented text offers an interesting angle on Woolf’s role as a ‘translator’ of women’s rights and as a new kind of foresight- ed literary critic. In 1979 the review Twentieth-Century Literature dedicated a monographic issue to Woolf’s later production: “The Journal of Mis- tress Joan Martyn” and the unfinished “Anon” and “The Reader”. The editor of the issue assembled material from Woolf’s notebook entitled “Notes for Reading at Random” and the drafts of Woolf’s last uncom- pleted texts. Brenda Silvers’ Virginia Woolf’s Reading Notebooks has also given access to the writer’s extensive notes which were the pre- paratory work for her literary reviews and that clarify some of the pas- sages in these last manuscripts.2 In this volume she has demonstrated how Woolf was an ‘uncommon reader’ and how her work as a re- viewer was literally built up through a vast repertoire of notes result- ing from her research and comparisons among authors and texts. Sil- 1 Naomi Black, Virginia Woolf as Feminist, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2004, p. 10....

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