Thursday, September 3, 2009

Francesca Duranti

In a recently published article on the Italian writer Francesca Duranti, Rita Wilson analyzes how self-translation becomes an integral part of the creation process of her work. In the short presentation of previous works by Duranti, it becomes clear that literary translation is a main concern for the writer as it is also one of the main themes of her literary oeuvre.
The translation of Sogni mancini (1996) into his English version Left-handed Dreams (2000) was the first time Duranti chose to self-translate one of her works: "Duranti, the writer as translator, draws on her own experience as a migrant from one culture (Italian) to another (North American) to reflect on what it means to be ‘translated’ both geographically and textually." (p.191). Wilson considers Duranti to be a "semi-expatriate" (Wilson, p. 187), because she lives only part of the year in New York. "Living and writing between two different cultures" (p.188) such became an important stimulus for her literary work. Because of various elements of hypertextuality in her work, "each version of a novel enters into secret dialogue with the others." (p. 190) This is of course also the case with the two versions of Sogni mancini: "both versions function simultaneously as hypotext and hypertext. Neither can be pointed to as the original one, or they both can" (p. 190).

For further reading:
Wilson, Rita (2009): The Writer's Double. Translation, Writing, and Autobiography. In: Romance Studies 27:3, p. 186–198.

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