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Painful Italianness: Translating the (Post)Migrant Female Body

Citation: Baldo, Michela (2015) Painful Italianness: Translating the (Post)Migrant Female Body. In: Institute of Modern Languages Research Director's Seminar, 18 June 2014, Senate House, University of London. (Unpublished)

This paper examines the recent translation into Italian of the Italian-North American works by Louise De Salvo, Vertigo (2006) [Vertigo], Kym Ragusa, La pelle che ci separa (2008) [The Skin Between Us] and Tina De Rosa, Pesci di Carta (2007) [Paper Fish]. These works use the painful and ill body as a source for writing about the experience of growing up as an Italian-American woman in US, and have been selected for translation by the publishing house Nutrimenti under the series Specchi [Mirrors] for their reference to the condition of marginality that they portray. In this paper I will explore whether a nostalgic national discourse of returning the Italian migrant back to Italy through translation (observed by the author in the translation of Italian-Canadian writing for example) is also at work in the Italian translations of the three works mentioned above, notwithstanding their feminist and post-colonial agenda. The analysis of the treatment of some textual instances of bodily descriptions in translation, discussed also in the translator’s prefaces and afterwords, and in email correspondence or interviews with the translators, constitutes an attempt to shed some light on this phenomenon.

Creators: Baldo, Michela and
Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Keywords: Italian-American writing, women’s writing, literary translation, body, illness
Divisions: Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing
  • March 2015 (completed)


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