Made in Italy. A diachronic study of literary circulation and translation in the semiperihery
Focusing on the translation flow from Italy to Sweden, the primary aim of this project is to examine the changes that the symbolic capital of Italian literature has undergone in the Swedish context during the last century and its manifestations in the localizing practices involved in the translation process. By emphasizing the relation of two semiperipheral literatures on the global translation market, the project could modulate the somewhat schematic thinking of transnational circulation as a battle between center and periphery. For this purpose, the project will take on an approach that combines close and distant reading of translations.
The first step will be to complete a bibliography of Italian literature available in Swedish translation and – inspired by Moretti’s (1997) literary cartographic method – compare it to analogous bibliographies from other language areas. In addition to drawing a sketch of the spreading of Italian texts abroad, this analysis aims to grasp the particular features of the Swedish canon of Italian literature. The second step will consider the translation patterns in relation to the fluctuation of symbolic capital that Italian literature has undergone in Sweden. The hypothesis is that a predominating tradition of italophilia, interfoliated with moments of italophobia, has privileged the inflow of culture-specific texts. Furthermore, the manifestations of the symbolic capital are likely to appear in the translation process as well. Thus, in the project’s third phase, a corpus of texts and paratexts will be set up and subsequently analyzed with prominence given to the stages involved in what Venuti (1998) calls “the process of inscription”: selection, introduction, translation, packaging and reception. Particular attention will be given to female authors and mediators, since my previous research indicates that the latter group plays a crucial role in the importation process while the former tends to be excluded from circulation.