Tag Archives: translation

‘Tradurre è un bacio’

nicola_gardini_2Nicola Gardini, Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at Oxford University, author of novels, poetry collections, literary essays, and translations of poetry from English (W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Emily Dickinson among others), Latin (Ovid and Catullus), and Greek (Marcus Aurelius), will be in Sydney to share his experience of translation and to illuminate the nature of translation as a poetic process. On Wednesday 12 April, 5.00-6.30 pm, in the Dept of Italian, Sydney University, he will be in conversation with Marco Sonzogni (Victoria University of Wellington), a specialist in the poetry of Montale and Heaney. Gardini’s Viva il latino (Garzanti, 2016) has been on Italy’s bestselling list for months; its English translation will published in Australia by Text. His new book explores Ovid’s imagination and will appear at the beginning of May (Garzanti).

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‘A sort of Roman saint’

250px-giuseppe_gioachino_belli‘The greatest poet of the 19th century’ (1976) …. ‘one of the three major revelations of my later life’ (1990) … ‘to read the entire corpus is to be overwhelmed. One dares to speak about greatness’ (1992). Who can this poet be? Aha .. ‘aromatic Roman speech haloed by a sonnet’ (1977). That’s a clue – except that the poet himself corrected anyone who described his language as ‘Roman’ – ‘no, it’s romanesco’. This isn’t a competition so the cast can be revealed. The poet is Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (1791-1863) and the writer praising him is Anthony Burgess (1917-1993). The novelist is quoted by Paul Howard in this week’s TLS  (22 Feb, p.15) in a long introduction to an apparently unpublished essay by Burgess entitled ‘Belli into English’ (ibid., p.16). Overcoming his initial shock at Belli’s obscenity and blasphemy, Burgess had made translations of a selection from GGB’s s 2279 sonnets for his novel Abba Abba. But, acknowledging that the poet was ‘a sort of Roman saint’, Burgess found the work of translating him very hard: ‘Belli remains as one of the proofs that poetry is fundamentally untranslatable’.

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2016 IIC Prize for Italian Literary Translation

80eedd16-4eae-47fa-ba44-ce175aeb5a83The 2016 IIC Prize for Italian Literary Translation, presented by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Melbourne, in collaboration with AALITRA (Australian Association for Literary Translation) and Monash University, has been announced. The Prize, open to Australian citizens resident in Victoria, SA, WA or Tasmania, will be awarded for a translation of the short story ‘Il Pannello’ by Erri De Luca, taken from his In alto a sinistra (Feltrinelli 2014).  The winner will receive a return flight to Rome, one month’s accommodation there and a contribution of $3000 to a translation study project. For more information, and to obtain a copy of the ‘bando di concorso’, please email IIC Melbourne to which submissions should also be sent. The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2016.

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‘A sickly poet of high reputation’

220px-Leopardi,_Giacomo_(1798-1837)_-_ritr._A_Ferrazzi,_Recanati,_casa_LeopardiThat was Giacomo Leopardi as described by an English diarist who met him in Florence in 1831. The latest issue of the TLS (July 8) has a review by Joseph Luzzi of recent translations of Leopardi: the Zibaldone (edited by Michael Caesar and Franco D’Intino, translated by Kathleen Baldwin et al) and Passions (a selection of reflections on the emotions, translated by Tim Parks). The reviewer concludes: ‘It is not easy making one’s way through so conflicted and labyrithine a mind and the risk of losing oneself is great – but, to quote Leopardi, it is sweet to be shipwrecked in such a sea’. Yale UP hosts a conversation with Parks in which he talks about Passions; and the blog/podcast TLS Voices carries Parks’ reading from Leopardi on desperation as well as his thoughts on translating the writer.

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Translators and Printers in Renaissance Europe

logoRegistration is now open for the international conference Translators and Printers in Renaissance Europe: Framing Identity and Agency, to be held at the Institute for Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, on 29-30 September 2016 (registration here).  The European Renaissance witnessed a new significance accorded to the tasks of textual translation and the printing and dissemination of the resultant works—whether religious tracts, literary or historical works, or popular manuals of instruction. As a consequence, the same period saw a dramatic increase in the importance, even prestige, claimed by translators, both women and men, for their skills. Translators and printers made these claims in frontispieces, prefaces, letters of dedication, and the like. In their direct appeal to the reader, such framing devices yield rich information about the material culture of sixteenth-century books, and the scope of translators’ endeavours. The conference explores the self-presentational strategies of sixteenth-century European translators and printers, and the tensions and ambiguities therein. Through analysis of paratextual material, it aims to illuminate the self-views of sixteenth-century translators, and their own accounts of their role as authoritative agents of cultural exchange, national and transnational acculturation (paper abstracts here).

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PhD scholarships in translation studies at the University of Sydney

Usyd_new_logoThe University of Sydney is offering PhD scholarships to work on an international translation project funded by the Australian Research Council. A central task of the project is to design and develop multilingual databases of translations to investigate specialised translations under the supervision of an international translation research team. Domestic and international students are eligible to apply and should have native or near native competency in English and in one of the following languages: Italian, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese. Preference will be given to applicants who have relevant research background in translation studies with a good understanding of corpus translation studies. Further details follow below.

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Monash translation school, 5-6 April 2016

Monash Translation Workshop flyerMonash University’s Translation and Interpreting Studies is running its annual literary translation school, a 2-day program of hands-on translation practice, on 5 & 6 April, 2016, 10am – 5pm, at The Library at the Docks, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands, VIC. The program is intended for students, writers, professional translators, language teachers, literature lovers and anyone interested in literary translation. This year’s event brings the Dalit Indian writer, Ajay Navaria, whose work will be translated from Hindi into English and from English into Italian and Japanese. The workshops are led by an expert translator and by the author of the text to be translated. Expressions of interest in attending should be submitted here by 25 March, 2016. Continue reading

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Translators and Printers in Renaissance Europe: Framing Identity and Agency

120px-Domenico_Ghirlandaio_-_St_Jerome_in_his_studyAn international conference, Translators and Printers in Renaissance Europe: Framing Identity and Agency, to be held at the IMLR, University of London, 29–30 September 2016, is calling for papers (details below). The European Renaissance witnessed a new significance accorded to the tasks of textual translation and the printing and dissemination of the resultant works: religious tracts, literary and historical works, and popular manuals of instruction. As a consequence the same period saw a dramatic increase in the importance, even prestige, claimed by translators, both women and men, for their skills. Translators and printers made these claims in frontispieces, prefaces, letters of dedication, and the like. In their direct appeal to the reader, such framing devices yield rich information about the material culture of sixteenth-century books, and the scope of translators’ endeavours.

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A very normal man: Italy, 1976

1e2143b0-369d-48eb-be27-3f5b7089358cA Very Normal Man, the first English translation of Vincenzo Cerami’s  Un borghese piccolo piccolo, will be presented by its translator Isobel Grave (University of South Australia) at Melbourne’s Italian Institute of Culture (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra) on Thursday 12 November at 6.30pm (free but booking essential). This novella, published in 1976, is a ferocious critique of Italian society in the 1970s and its graft, hypocrisy, corrupt institutions and violent crime. Giovanni Vivaldi is a minor public servant in Rome, determined to secure a job for his son in his own department and prepared to do some extraordinary things to make that happen. But fate destroys his plans and he exacts a chilling revenge. Vincenzo Cerami, who died in 2013, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1999 for his original screenplay of Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful. Isobel Grave will talk about Cerami’s achievements in literature and cinema and show clips from Mario Monicelli’s 1977 film of the book which starred Alberto Sordi.

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CfP: Transnational Italies: Mobility, Subjectivities and Modern Italian Cultures

logo_withtextTransnational Italies: Mobility, Subjectivities and Modern Italian Cultures, a conference to be held at the British School at Rome, 26-28 October 2016, with Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Marina Warner as keynote speakers, is issuing a call for papers.  The conference is part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures‘ and opens the project exhibition at the British School at Rome.  The history of Italians and of Italian culture stems from multiple experiences of mobility and transnationalism. Such experiences reflect the history of Italy as an ‘emigrant nation’ (Choate), an imperialist power, and a European country facing the challenges of world system transformation from its Mediterranean location. These histories of mass movements also represent millions of individual and collective trajectories, traced through micro-processes of cultural translation, acts of transmission, and memory mediation of subjects from a variety of national, linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

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