What the analysis of style in translation can say. Disentangling styles in Giovanni Giudici’s translations of poetry


Abstract


Abstract – The Italian poet Giovanni Giudici (1924-2011) translated and published an anthology of Robert Frost’s poems titled Conoscenza della notte in 1965 and re-edited it in 1988. The contrasting critical opinions on the book prompt the initial research question on the main stylistic features of Giudici’s translation of Frost and lead us to further reflections on the reasons behind the adoption of certain translation solutions and strategies. By relying on the theoretical discourse developed in the field of stylistics applied to literary translations, we focus on the contrastive linguistic analysis of source text (above all on Robert Frost’s fictional orality) and target text to single out the recurrent stylistic patterns that can be attributed either to the translator or to the source text author. In order to understand better these stylistic patterns in the target text, interpreted as mainly conscious (but also partly unconscious) choices of the translator, we contextualize them by taking into account a diachronic perspective that stresses their genesis and development in Giudici’s translation work. The results shed light on the stylistic features of Giudici’s translation of Frost and on Giudici’s style as a translator and as a poet in general. They also confirm that the analysis of style in translation can be an effective tool for the interpretation and criticism of literary translations and literary texts.


Keywords: Translational stylistics; Giovanni Giudici; Robert Frost; contemporary Italian Poetry; mimesis of orality

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