Translating Caterina Edwards' The lion's mouth into Italian : an example of cultural translation in practice

Seccia, Maria Cristina (2014) Translating Caterina Edwards' The lion's mouth into Italian : an example of cultural translation in practice. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.


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The present thesis investigates the link between migrant writing and translation studies from a practice-led position on the basis of my own Italian translation of Caterina Edwards' novel The Lion's Mouth (1982). This literary text, taken as an exemplary model of Anglophone Italian-Canadian literature, is analysed through the lens ofHomi Bhabha's theory of cultural translation (1994). The novel is centred on the migrant experience ofthe narrator, who translates her Italian past to a Canadian audience and engages in acts of negotiation between her Italian and Canadian cultural identities in order to integrate into her host country. The narration ofthe intercultural encounters between the Italian migrant narrator and the Canadian host society enacts mechanisms of cultural production, construction of 'self and 'other', as well as of self-representation in source-text readers. Translating such hybrid literary texts involves shifts in perspective and expectations as well as new mechanisms of representation. Translation practices become even more complex when migrant literary texts 'travel back' to the narrators'/authors' home country. Through an analysis of the existing Italian translations of Antonio D'Alfonso's Fabrizio's Passion (1995) and Nino Ricci's short literary memoirs 'Passage to Canada' (2003), this study also looks at how the translation strategies used, like linguistic homogenisation, are often at variance with the narrators' process of cultural translation and their transcultural identity. The result is a monocultural target text, which remains at odds with the theoretical debates in translation studies and the literary criticism of Italian-Canadian writing in the Italian context. This study shows, by contrast, that cultural translation can shed light on the interlingual translation of literary texts, where reflections on cultural identity, (non)belonging, memory, language and (self-)translation playa crucial role. More specifically, my Italian translation of The Lion's Mouth shows how postcolonial translation theories have informed my textual practices and translation strategies in an attempt to reproduce a heterolingual target text, which conveys the narrator's cultural difference. Translation by practice shows how the recreation of a hybrid literary text, which enlivens the narrator's process of cultural translation, also involves readers in a similar act of translation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Modern Languages
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2015 13:09
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2016 16:44
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5191
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