How readers perceive translated literary works: an analysis of reader reception


Abstract - The aim of this paper is to investigate the reader’s reception of translated literary texts and to explore the reader’s expectations about literary works. For this purpose, three comparable corpora of British, American and Italian online book reviews commenting on the English version of Andrea Camilleri’s La forma dell’acqua (The Shape of Water) and on the Italian version of Stephen King’s Joyland were assembled and analysed. The way active target language readers perceive and evaluate a translated literary work was then explored by taking the language they actually used in book recommendation websites. The analysis demonstrates that the Anglo-American and Italian readers’ reception of the translated text is different, in terms of focus and perception.


Riassunto - Il presente articolo esplora il modo in cui i lettori recepiscono testi letterari tradotti e quali sono le loro aspettative. A tale scopo sono stati raccolti e analizzati tre corpora comparabili di recensioni online scritte da lettori britannici, americani e italiani sulla versione inglese de La forma dell’acqua di Andrea Camilleri e sulla versione italiana di Joyland di Stephen King. In particolare, l’articolo esplora il modo in cui i lettori della lingua di arrivo percepiscono e valutano un’opera letteraria tradotta partendo dal linguaggio da usato dai lettori nei siti web di recensioni di libri. L’analisi dimostra che i lettori anglo-americani e italiani percepiscono un testo tradotto in modo differente e ne commentano aspetti differenti.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v14p69

Keywords: literary translation; corpora; reader reception; book reviews


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