Questioni di traducibilità nelle opere di scrittori postcoloniali. Un caso di riflessione: Midnight’s Children di Salman Rushdie


The aim of this article is to show the need to adopt a cultural approach in the translation of literary works, especially when these are the product of postcolonial authors. These works, coming from cultures that sometimes are very different from our western culture, tend to show a certain resistance to translation. A cultural approach requires, before translating the single sentence or word, a knowledge of the culture that has produced the text, of the history and literary heritage of that culture so as to better grasp intertextual references, as well as a reading of the other writings by the author whose text one has to translate. This article focuses on the incipit of the novel Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, in particular on the phrase ‘once upon a time’ and its Italian translation suggesting a possibility that is slightly different from the one appearing in the Italian version of the book, yet, according to the author of this article, is more faithful to the Author’s intention. The alternative translation is motivated through an overview of Rushdie’s use of the English language and history, the assumed lack of historical sense in ancient India and the roots of such assumption, and historiography in India, as all these aspects are involved in the translation of this novel that is the product of a highly hybridized culture.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v8p71

Keywords: intraducibility ; culture ; history ; language ; hybridity ; chutnification


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