Translating the Female Self across Cultures
Mothers and daughters in autobiographical narratives
Translating the Female Self across Cultures examines contemporary autobiographical narratives and their Italian and French translations. The comparative analyses of the texts are underpinned by the latest developments in Translation Studies that place emphasis on identity construction in translation and the role of translation in moulding various types of identity. They focus on how the writers’ textual personae make sense of their sexual, artistic and post-colonial identities in relation to the mother and how the mother-daughter dyad survives translation into the Italian and French social, political and cultural contexts. The book shows how each target text activates different cultural literary, linguistic and rhetorical frames of reference which cast light on the facets of the protagonists’ quest for identity: the cult of the Madonna; humour and irony; gender and class; mimesis and storytelling; performativity and geographical sense of self. The book highlights the fruitfulness of studying women’s narratives and their translations, and the polyphonic dialogue between the translations and the literary and theoretical productions of the French and Italian cultures.
[Benjamins Translation Library, 130] 2018. xiv, 302 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Assessing irony, characterization and religion in the Italian translation of Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Chapter 2. Recodification of class and gender in the French translation of Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Chapter 3. The passion for the real: Empowering maternal precepts in the Italian translations of A. S. Byatt’s short stories
Chapter 4. Dialogic spaces and intertextual resonances in the French translation of A. S. Byatt’s autobiographical story “Sugar”
Chapter 5. Jamaica Kincaid’s Autobiografia di mia madre : Voices from the abyss
Chapter 6. Orality, performativity and the body in Jamaica Kincaid’s Autobiographie de ma mère
“This intriguing study of autobiographical fiction explores how issues of gender, class, politics and religion are reshaped in translation. Maestri skillfully shows how translators adapt cultural signifiers with varied degrees of success to try and accommodate different audience expectations.”
Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick
“ Translating the Female Self across Cultures shows us that feminist translations are deeply and firmly located in the place and time that produce them. Through illuminating comparative readings of Winterson, Byatt and Kincaid in Italian and French translation, the book tells a double, parallel story: that of gendered identity as a culture-bound construction, and of translators as powerful cultural agents in its evolution.”
Loredana Polezzi, Cardiff University
“In this interdisciplinary study Maestri investigates the implications involved in translating according to a feminist ethic. The theoretically grounded and wide-ranging case studies will open new directions of inquiry for those interested in Translation Studies, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory.”
Rita Wilson, Monash University
“Maestri’s work convincingly fashions a bridge, much-needed even today, between women’s writing (Gender Studies/Women’s Studies) and Translation Studies, placing the translation of texts at the very centre of the production of meaning, and seamlessly integrating the theory of translation with its practice. Grounded in nuanced linguistic and cultural analyses of the translations of women’s autobiographical texts, Maestri describes the construction of identity at the heart of the mother-daughter relationship described by these autobiographies and, more important, deftly demonstrates how translation may serve to excavate readings not always accessible in the original.”
Michelle Bolduc, University of Exeter
“I am not aware of any book that explores the mother-daughter bond in translation so originally and with such sensitivity to culture as this one. Maestri takes us on a wonderful journey through the translated and untranslated complexities of the maternal, female subjectivity and other debates relevant to women in today’s societies and cultures.”
Adalgisa Giorgio, University of Bath
“This book may serve as a valuable example of how interdisciplinary perspectives can be fruitfully and coherently used for product-oriented analyses of translations and of the rich context informing translation decisions and agendas.”
Roxana Birsanu, Romanian-American University, on Linguist List 30.91 (8 January 2019)
Other primary texts by J. Winterson
2002 “Mother from Heaven.” The New Yorker June 17: 120. (Online, accessed on 19 July 2016 at www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/06/17/mother-from-heaven)
Primary texts by A. S. Byatt and translations
Other primary texts by A. S. Byatt
Byatt, A. S.
Primary texts by J. Kincaid and translations
Other primary texts by J. Kincaid
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2005 “Political Constraints on Sexual Identity in the Italian Translation of Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit .” In Ethics and Politics of Translation, Norwich Papers: Studies in Literary Translation 13, ed. by Meike Reintjes, and Marie Tåqvist, 1–19. Norwich: University of East Anglia. Reprinted here with the kind permission of Norwich Papers.
2007a “Assessing Humour, Characterisation and Receptivity in the Italian and French Translations of Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit .” In Laboratorio di nuova ricerca: Investigating Gender, Translation and Culture in Italian Studies, ed. by Monica Boria, and Linda Risso, 199–215. Leicester: Troubador. Reprinted here with the kind permission of Troubador.
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2014 “Dialogic Spaces and Literary Resonances in the French Translation of A. S. Byatt’s Autobiographical Story ‘Sugar’.” In Literary Translation: Redrawing the Boundaries, ed. by Jean Boase-Beier, Antoinette Fawcett, and Philip Wilson, 32–49. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. No permission was needed to reprint it here.
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