What if Uncle Charles was a woman?
Italian retranslations and the re-characterization of Joyce’s female voices
Keywords:retranslation, multi-voicedness, heterology, female re-characterization, James Joyce
It is well-known that Joyce’s third-person narrators tend to mimic the characters’ idiolectic ways of expression. However, the rendering of characters’ idiolects through such multi-voiced narration, and therefore the way in which these characters are portrayed, has not always stood the test of translation. Especially in the early Italian translations, the rendering of multi-voiced narration suffers from the standardization of linguistic variation. As Joyce uses the characters’ idiolects as a means of characterization, this results in a flattening not only of the characters’ voices, but of their psychological traits in general as well.
The Italian retranslations, however, standardize less, show more linguistic and stylistic variety and reproduce more of the source text multi-voicedness. Retranslation can therefore be seen, in this case, as a means for re-characterization, especially when investigating female voices. As we will argue, this progressively more and more dialogical re-characterization of Joyce’s female voices can be explained by changing adequacy norms – related to an increased knowledge and understanding of narrative features in Joyce, such as the Uncle Charles Principle – and acceptability norms related to female voices that were considered obscene or socially unacceptable at the time of the first translations.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1984. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Translated by Caryl Emerson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1986. Speech genres and other late essays. Translated by Vern W. McGee. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Bollettieri Bosinelli, Rosa Maria. 2009. “A proposito di Anna Livia Plurabelle.” In Anna Livia Plurabelle. Nella traduzione di Samuel Beckett e altri, edited by Rosa Maria Bollettieri Holquist, Michael. 2002. Dialogism. London: Taylor & Francis.
Joyce, James. (1938) 2009. “Anna Livia Plurabella.” Translated by James Joyce and Nino Frank. In Anna Livia Plurabelle. Nella traduzione di Samuel Beckett e altri, edited by Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, 2–29. Milano: Ledizioni.
Joyce, James. 1949. “Cenere.” In Gente di Dublino. Translated by Franca Cancogni. Torino: Einaudi.
Joyce, James. 1960. Ulisse. Translated by Giulio De Angelis. Milano: Mondadori.
Joyce, James. 1974. “Cenere.” In Gente di Dublino. Translated by Marina Emo Capodilista. Roma: Newton Compton.
Joyce, James. (1982) 2009. “Anna Livia Plurabelle.” Translated by Luigi Schenoni. In Anna Livia Plurabelle. Nella traduzione di Samuel Beckett e altri, edited by Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, 88–139. Milano: Ledizioni.
Joyce, James. 1995. Ulisse. Translated by Bona Flecchia. Firenze: Shakespeare and Company.
Joyce, James. 1996. “Clay.” In Dubliners. London: Penguins Popular Classics.
Joyce, James. 2008. Ulysses, edited by Walter Gabler. London: The Bodley Head.
Joyce, James. 2010. Ulysses, edited by Stuart Gilbert. Ware: Wordsworth Classics.
Joyce, James. 2012. Ulisse. Translated by Enrico Terrinoni and Carlo Bigazzi. Roma: Newton Compton.
Joyce, James. 2013. Ulisse. Translated by Gianni Celati. Torino: Einaudi. [EPUB]
Joyce, James. 2020. Ulisse. Translated by Mario Biondi. Milano: La nave di Teseo. [Kindle]
Kenner, Hugh. 1978. Joyce’s voices. London: Faber & Faber.
Peeters, Kris. 2016. “Traduction, retraduction et dialogisme.” Meta 61 (3): 629–49. https://doi.org/10.7202/1039222ar
Peeters, Kris. 2021. “Retraduction, réaccentuation, redialogisation : stratégies éditoriales et stratégies de traduction dans les traductions néerlandaises des Liaisons dangereuses.”
RELIEF ((Re)traduire les classiques français) 15 (1): 10–26. https://revue-relief.org/article/view/10828
Peeters, Kris, and Guillermo Sanz Gallego. 2020. “Translators’ creativity in the Dutch and Spanish (re)translations of ‘Oxen of the Sun’ : (re)translation the Bakhtinian way.” European Joyce Studies 30: 221–41. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004427419_013
Peeters, Kris, Guillermo Sanz Gallego, and Monica Paulis. 2022 [in press]. “Dubliners retranslated: Re-accenting Multi-Voicedness”. In The Art of Translation in Light of Bakhtinian Re-accentuation., edited by Slav Gratchev. London/ New York/ Sydney/New Delhi: Bloomsbury Academic.
Todorov, Tzvetan. 1984. The Dialogical principle. Translated by Wlad Godzich. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Toury, Gideon. 2012. Descriptive translation studies - and beyond. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Van Poucke, Piet. 2020. “The effect of previous translations on retranslation”, Transcultural 12 (1): 10–25. https://doi.org/10.21992/tc29486
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Monica Paulis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published online in journal Stridon by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licensethat allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.