Translating Travel : Contemporary Italian Travel Writing in English Translation book cover
1st Edition

Translating Travel
Contemporary Italian Travel Writing in English Translation

ISBN 9780754602736
Published December 21, 2001 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Translating Travel examines the relationship between travel writing and translation, asking what happens when books travel beyond the narrow confines of one genre, one literary system and one culture. The volume takes as its starting point the marginal position of contemporary Italian travel writing in the Italian literary system, and proposes a comparative reading of originals and translations designed to highlight the varying reception of texts in different cultures. Two main themes in the book are the affinity between the representations produced by travel and the practices of translation, and the complex links between travel writing and genres such as ethnography, journalism, autobiography and fiction. Individual chapters are devoted to Italian travellers' accounts of Tibet and their English translations; the hybridization of journalism and travel writing in the works of Oriana Fallaci; Italo Calvino's sublimation of travel writing in the stylized fiction of Le città invisibili; and the complex network of literary references which marked the reception of Claudio Magris's Danubio in different cultures.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: the paradox of absence; The case for Italian travel writing; Travel writing in translation; Travel and/as translation; Rewriting Tibet: Italian travellers in English translation; Crossing borders and exploiting hybridity: language, gender and genre in the works of Oriana Fallaci; Jumping genres: Italo Calvino and the question of ’Literariness’; Different journeys along the river: Claudio Magris’s Danubio and its translation; Conclusions; a question of distance; Bibliography, Index.

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Loredana Polezzi is Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. Her main research interests include travel writing, translation studies and comparative literature. She has written on British travellers in Italy, contemporary Italian travel writing and the influence of translation on the formation of images of Italy.


'The book is excellently documented, coherently marshalling a wide range of sources, and it offers perceptive comments on many points of detail. Balanced between several fields of interest, it can at times be tantalizing... an important contribution to an inherently complex field of enquiry.' Italian Studies '... highly recommended for its theoretical intelligence and acumen, and in particular for its innovative development of the Deleuzean concept of 'minor literature' in an Italian context. Moreover, the book proposes an original and extremely fertile methodological approach to Italian travel literature that might well be extended to the Italian tradition at large, going back to Marco Polo and early modern Italian travel literature, thus providing a powerful and timely antidote, particularly in an age of 'globalizing literary studies', to the Italian critical tradition's aversion to travel.' Modern Language Review '[Loredana Polezzi's] work is a fine example of a perfect bilingual sensibility at work on a suitably bicultural subject, in the older 'golden' tradition of Comparative Literature... Few books in translation studies can match this kind of fully bilingual resourcefulness...' The Translator