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Religious vernacular literature is thus shown as the ideal ground for a meeting of different cultures and languages

Religious vernacular literature is thus shown as the ideal ground for a meeting of different cultures and languages

While it explores an original whose complex textual history makes for fascinating linguistic stratification, the translation becomes a testing ground to gauge the purity of the target language and its degree of tolerance for loanwords

appropriation. In the fourteenth century, as Phalaris’ epistolary began his journey through translation and adaptation, another type of texts began to emerge: vernacular anthologies, collections of texts that included contemporary originals in the vernacular and translations from the classics. It is the case of the so-called Libro dell’Aquila, here studied by Giulio Vaccaro, a collection including excerpts from Dante’s Divina Commedia and Convivio as well as translations from Ovid’s Heroides and Virgil’s Aeneid, together with a number of other texts. Here, too, there is no distinction between vertical and horizontal translation: the late medieval sylloge is inclusive and curious; it makes use of classical as well as contemporary texts to construct a variegated historical narration that subsumes all its material without proposing chronological or canonical distinctions. Vaccaro reconstructs the early history and dissemination of this text up to the second half of the sixteenth century, showing how the translation process in this anthology may constitute one of many stages in the transition from classical to early modern, in its offering a range of instances from the classical to the medieval text. The volume continues by exploring more conventionally recognizable instances of horizontal translation through three case studies, respectively dedicated to literary, religious, and scientific texts. Lucia Assenzi uses the instance of the thirteenth-century Tuscan collection of novellas known as Novellino, which was translated into German in 1624; although the actual translator cannot be identified, we know that the translation was undertaken as part of the activities of the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, the first linguistic association in Germany, founded in Weimar in 1617. As highlighted by Assenzi, this translation (which used as its basis the 1572, augmented edition of the Italian text) offers an excellent case study to see how this activity is connected with the treatment of loanwords and foreign words present in the original. In this case, what we see is an effort to reproduce in the translation activity the ideals of language purity that the Gesellschaft strove to defend. Translation in this instance enforces a reflection on the target language, a reflection made possible by the cultural environment in which the translation is born.

As Gallo notes in her contribution, it is especially appropriate that this forgery was recognized as such only at the end of the seventeenth century, when the complex relationship established by early modern culture with the European classical inheritance was finally drawing to a close

If the theoretical elaboration of translation is possible, indeed encouraged, in an academic environment, the following case shows us translation undertaken in a widely different cultural atmosphere. Andrea Radosevic and Marijana Horvat analyse an instance of translation strategy as applied to religious discourse: the case in point is the activity of the Franciscan friar Matija Divkovic, who lived in Bosnia between the late sixteenth and the early seventeenth century. Divkovic’s collection of sermons, Besjede svrhu evandel’ja nedjeljnijeh priko svega godista, published in Venice in 1616, drew on a number of late medieval Latin books of sermons and reworked passages from these collections in order to offer a range of texts that could be understood and used in Divkovic’s own community, in seventeenth-century Bosna Argentina. Radosevic and Horvat show the close link between readership expectation and translation practices, underlining how Divkovic’s strategies served the didactic purpose of the sermons: clarity and intelligibility are the translator’s main goal, and such choices automatically enhanced the memorization of key statements. At the same time, this analysis allows us to see how Divkovic’s final outcome is the building of a literary language through translation and adaptation, the former being applied to the Latin sermons that serve as source texts, the latter being implemented thanks to the acquisition of words and phrases from different Croatian areas and older Croatian literary traditions. The last example of this section brings us to Anglo-Italian exchanges and to early modern English translations of Italian texts. This particular area has received special attention over the last few decades, and a number of major English writers, Shakespeare in primis, have been examined through the lenses of the reception of Italian culture in England. The present contribution, however, asks us to shift our focus by considering not only less studied texts, but also a less studied language, that of the scientific pamphlet. Alice Equestri analyses the first English translation of Tomaso Garzoni’s Ospidale De’ Pazzi Incurabili, a pamphlet composed in 1586 and dealing with the issues of intellectual disability. In Italy and elsewhere in Europe, the pamphlet was a surprising bestseller, presenting a taxonomy of mental disease which does not simply serve an allegorical or symbolic function, as in more celebrated works such as Erasmus’ Praise of Folly, but reveals, Moldovan hot women on the part of the writer, a sincerely clinical interest in the pathologies connected to mental disability. In the English translation, published in 1600 by Edward Blount, Equestri detects at the same time a fundamental faithfulness to the original text and a critical approach by means of the paratext. In her analysis, Equestri shows

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