Problems involved in translating South African prose into Italian, with reference to N. Gordimer's Burger's daughter

Carusi, Maria Cristina
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This study consists of three chapters of varying length dealing with the- problem of literary translation from contemporary South African English to modern Italian. Talcing as our model the recent Gordimer novel Burger's Daughter (Jonathan Cape Ltd.., London, 1979), we consider the various responsibilities of the literary translator, detaching his problems from those of the commercial version of a piece of prose, which require qualities of paraphrase, word to word correspondence and accuracy at expense of style. In our opening chapter we look at the extraordinary difference between the educated literary reader's expectation when handling a modern classic in the target language and this version's actual treatment of the original language. We taice Capriolo's La figlia fid Burger (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S. p . A . , Milanoj 197S) as the model of an average* competent, professional exercise in South African/Italian translation and we note that most of our criteria are contravened or even ignored In chapter II our study turns to a detailed listing of omissions, adjustments, inaccuracies, misunderstandings, unresearched technical points and plain imperfections of style and manner. In most cases the study accounts for the imperfection or error and proceeds to suggest not only why it arose, but also how it could be rectified. Our criteria for improvement rest on categories of (a) stylistic compensation for individual features of the original, (b) homogeneous Hi manner and (political equivalences. In chapter III we offer a sample translation into Italian of four selected pages of the text (original, pp. 353-356) in our own hand, hoping thereby to establish tighter and more rigorous categories for the rendition of this exemplary modern South African
A Research Report submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of the tfitwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Translation. Johannesburg, 1982