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Modern Italian Poets

Modern Italian Poets: Translators of the Impossible

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 392
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  • Book Info
    Modern Italian Poets
    Book Description:

    Modern Italian Poetsshows how the new genre shaped the poetic practice of the poet-translators who worked within it.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6565-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-25)

    Italian literature has always been written and cultivated in a larger historical, linguistic, and cultural milieu. The first movement of Italian poetry,La scuola siciliana(The Sicilian school), which grew up around the emperor (and poet) Frederick II in the first half of the 1200s, was born from troubadour verse. In fact, one of Giacomo da Lentini’s firstcanzoniis partly a translation of a poem by Folquet de Marselha, as has been well established.¹ As Michelangelo Picone writes, “It is therefore within the depths of linguistic translation that the origin of the dawning [Italian] literary tradition is hidden.”² If...

  6. 1 A Brief Tour of Western Translation Theory
    (pp. 26-53)

    In translation, as I.A. Richards famously asserted, “we have here indeed what may very probably be the most complex type of event yet produced in the evolution of the cosmos.”¹ His claim about translation is hardly an exaggeration. Two thousand years of translation theory, running from Marcus Tullius Cicero to Lawrence Venuti, have not settled the issues at stake. In this chapter, I will offer a brief summary of Western translation theory relevant to the following chapters on poet-translators, dealing with some crucial philosophers and theorists, writers and poets. I will not trace this history in depth, but rather focus...

  7. 2 Eugenio Montale: Translation, Ricreazioni, and Il Quaderno di Traduzioni
    (pp. 54-89)

    This chapter has three goals. First, to describe and provide a brief history of Eugenio Montale’s translations, which have often been studied but never entirely accurately appraised because of Montale’s tendency to use “ghost-translators” (Lucia Rodocanachi and Maria Luisa Spaziani) to provide him with literal versions or complete translations. Second, to analyse Montale’s philosophy of translation, which has long and unjustly remained at the margins of the critical discourse about his poetics. We will see how Montale’s translation ideology was shaped by two beliefs of Benedetto Croce: that poetry is impossible to translate, and consequently that poetic translations should ideally...

  8. 3 Giorgio Caproni: Translation, Vibrazioni, and Compensi
    (pp. 90-125)

    This chapter focuses on the Francophile poet Giorgio Caproni, whose translations stand out from many of his Italian contemporaries on account of their euphony and naturalness. Despite the fact that Caproni’s translations have been studied by a number of scholars,² there remains no integral overview of his translations coupled with a detailed analysis of hisQuaderno di traduzioni. I will argue that Caproni’s translation ideology is based, like Montale’s, on the Crocean idea that poetry is untranslatable. What can be transmitted, at most, are simply poeticvibrazioni(vibrations), as the Italian philosopher maintained. Therefore, the poet-translator must attempt a recreation,...

  9. 4 Giovanni Giudici: Translation, Constructive Principles, and Amor de lonh
    (pp. 126-164)

    Giovanni Giudici’s translations, many of which are from Russian² and Czech,³ do not reflect common trends among Italian poet-translators. No twentieth-century Italian poet cemented his poetic career with formative translations from these two literatures. Moreover, he translated more Anglo-American poets than any other Italian poet-translator of his generation. Even if Giudici had never written a verse of his own, he would still be known today for his artistic translations from Russian, Czech, and English. The critic Giorgio Manacorda even suggests that “from a cultural point of view Giudici’s most important activity is certainly that of a translator.”⁴

    Giudici’s translation of...

  10. 5 Edoardo Sanguineti: Translation, Travestimento, and Foreignization
    (pp. 165-192)

    Edoardo Sanguineti (1930–2010) was a pre-eminent Italian poet, writer, and intellectual. He published novels and numerous books of poetry, plays, and essays, along with a copious number of translations. Indeed, no modern Italian poet, excepting Salvatore Quasimodo, translated as much foreign drama as Sanguineti. He translated plays by Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Brecht, Corneille, Euripides, Ionesco, Molière, Seneca, Shakespeare, and Sophocles.³ He also translated Petronius’sSatyricon,⁴ Goethe’sFaust,⁵ as well as lyric poems from several languages.⁶

    This chapter is divided into several sections: first, an overview of Sanguineti’s poetic career; second, an introduction to his translation ideology; third, an examination of...

  11. 6 Franco Buffoni: Translation, Translation Theory, and the “Poietic Encounter”
    (pp. 193-222)

    Franco Buffoni was born in Lombardy, northern Italy, in the city of Gallarate, in 1948. During his thirty-five-year teaching career, he taught English literature, literary criticism, and comparative literature at the universities of Bergamo, Cassino, Milan (IULM), Parma, Trieste, and Turin. As a poet he has thirteen volumes to his name;¹ as a fiction writer, three volumes of narrative;² and as a scholar, eight volumes of literary criticism.³ Moreover, Buffoni edited the important volumes on translation:La traduzione del testo poetico(The translation of the poetic text, 1989);⁴Ritmologia: atti del convegno Il ritmo del linguaggio: poesia e traduzione(Rhythmology:...

  12. Appendix Catalogue of Translations by Modern Italian Poets, 1900–2012
    (pp. 223-270)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 271-326)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 327-360)
  15. Index
    (pp. 361-375)