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Sherwood Anderson tra Ada Prospero e Cesare Pavese: traduzioni, trasfusioni, traiettorie

The essay discusses the first two Italian translations of, respectively, Winesburg, Ohio and Dark Laughter by Sherwood Anderson, by comparing the trajectories, postures, and translations styles of Ada Prospero (Solitudine, 1931) and Cesare Pavese (Riso nero, 1932). Despite the striking homology of their positions in the intellectual field of Turin in the 1930s, through their translations and paratextual work Prospero and Pavese offered two very different images of Sherwood Anderson. Quite modest and idealistically-oriented, Prospero enhanced the crepuscular side and the Christian subtext of Anderson’s work, often “domesticating” in her translation the latter’s experimental use of slang. In contrast, the exuberant and self-assured Pavese exalted Anderson’s sensual vitality, opting for an intensely “foreignizing” translation style. Pavese’s “version” of Anderson would prove instrumental not only to his own literary career, but also to forging a vastly influential image of American literature as a space of authenticity, freedom, and regeneration. This essay claims that despite of Pavese’s narrative, Prospero gave a  significant contribution to the creation of a “mito americano” in Italian culture, by consciously promoting Sherwood Anderson (among other American authors) as a literary and cultural novelty.

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Anna De Biasio
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Letteratura americana tradotta in Italia
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