Bradas, Marija (2015) Il secondo libro della raccolta "Srpske narodne pjesme" nella cultura italiana. Questioni stilistico-metriche e di ricezione letteraria. [Tesi di dottorato]
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Translation theory has benefited from the teachings of German Romantic authors, who underlined the concept of translation as a means of communication between different cultures (Schleiermacher, Novalis, Schlegel, etc.). This perception of translation is also the starting point of this research. It aims to offer an analysis of the reception, particularly of translations of Serbian popular epics in Italian culture from Pre-Romanticism to the first half of the 20th century, with particular attention devoted to the Romantic period, in which Serbian and Croatian poetry gained most significant approval. Stylistic and metrical solutions adopted in the translations, and often neglected by researchers, are studied in depth. This research attempts to offer broader and more complex reflections on the poetics of the single authors and the various literary periods.
The corpus was created from four major collections of Italian translations of Serbian and Croatian folk poetry: Tommaseo’s Canti popolari illirici (1842), Canti popolari serbi by Giovanni Nikolić (1894; 1895), Canti popolari serbi e croati by Petar Kasandrić (1884; 1913; 1914; 1923) and Poesia popolare serbo-croata by Arturo Cronia (1949). The only translations taken into account are the epic songs from the second book of the great anthology of Serbian folk songs [Srpske narodne pjesme], collected and published by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić. The second volume of the collection contains the epic songs of ancient times that were of greater interest and thus a greater number of translations in contrast to lyrical poems. This however is not the only nor the main reason for the choice of the corpus, which was created bearing the formulaic style of popular epics in mind. The analysis focuses particularly on the translation of the epic formulas. The author of the study believes their interpretation reflects the style and, more generally,the method of the translator. The interpretation enhances the objectivity of the analysis itself. In this sense, the oral theory of Milman Parry and Albert Lord becomes the fundamental theoretical assumption and the partition of the epic formulas drawn from them is used as a frame for the stylistic analysis.
In the case of Tommaseo,through the analysis of the formal choices in translation one is able to trace the author's Romantic poetic origins, though we must not overlook his classicist and humanist background. In fact, Tommaseo often opts for the variatio in verses where the Serbian text prescribes the repetitio as one of the fundamental characteristics of the epic style. Such stylistic choice would have been unthinkable for Goethe for instance. Moreover, the Italian translator uses archaic words typical of 14th century Italian literature, whereas the original text was a manifestation of the language spoken by the common people. However, Tommaseo's translations manage to maintain faithful in terms of word order and other formal characteristics of the original text, although the choices in style and method are not always consistent.
On the other hand, Nikolić is a classic example of a target-oriented translater. The influence of the Italian literary tradition on his work can be seen both in the rendering of the meter and of the original style, which are entirely adapted to the target culture. The consistency of the method is especially noticeable in the first edition, while the second, under the influence of Tommaseo, shows some exceptions. However, in the case of Nikolić, one cannot speak of negotiation, since his method shows only domesticating tendencies. This is not to say that the translation of Nikolić, in his consistent effort to bring the Serbian epic style to the level of the highly rhetorical Italian tradition, is without merit; on the contrary, his effort is undeniably successful. Moreover, the evaluation or interpretation of a translation solely in terms of its faithfulness to the original is an out-dated method in literary criticism and, especially in the translation studies.
Among the translations presented here, Kasandrić’s stands out for its modernity of metrical choices and successful combination of the source and target style. An interesting result of negotiation between the two literary expressions, the efforts of Kasandrić follow the path laid by Tommaseo. The “dominant” of his method is the metric, which in Tommaseo was entirely secondary, but both translations unite the two worlds and the two literary categories held dear to Tommaseo: the sublime and the popular. Kasandrić takes a step forward as he implements this union in a more coherent and systematic way (for instance, the language in Kasandrić is always literary and repetitions are always kept). Tommaseo’s influence on all translators studied here is abundantly clear, but although Tommaseo is the reference and the starting point as much for Nikolić as for Cronia, the only true successor of Tommaseo’s ideas is Kasandrić. Tommaseo’s conciliatory method finds its application only in Kasandrić’s style, while translations by Nikolić and Cronia are elaborated exclusively in one style: domesticating the first and foreignizing the second.
Cronia follows Tommaseo’s example of fidelity to the original meaning and syntax, and its translation is the one that most echoes the text of Tommaseo’s Illyrian collection, but Tommaseo’s method and theory find no application in Cronia. Contrary to the ideas of Tommaseo, and influenced by Croce’s esthetics, in some cases Cronia underestimates folk poetry in general and Serbo-Croatian poetry in particular. However, for philological scrupulousness (and not for empathy, as in Tommaseo) he gave very literal translations, largely preserving the typical stylistic procedures, even at a greater degree than Tommaseo himself. Certainly, the two aims were different: while Cronia’s work was made for academic purposes, Tommaseo had poetic ambitions.
Moreover, Cronia’s translation is the only one of the four that does not reflect an ideology or a poetic program. Cronia approaches the world of popular poetry as a philologist, but this only applies to his translation practice. The background of his theoretical positions are quite different, which find inspiration in not only the Crocean ideas, but are also influenced by Cronia’s Dalmatian Italianity and the historical period in which they were formed (the 1930s and 40s). It is likely for this reason that no traces of Tommaseo’s conciliatory method can be found in his translation.
In the case of Tommaseo, the conciliation of “domestic and foreign” was not only a translation method, but also the main idea of his poetics and, a in a wider sense, of his life. The same Illyrian collection only represents a part of Tommaseo’s interest in folk poetry and, unlike the collections of Nikolić and Kasandrić, did not have only one purpose. The work of these two translators was aimed at showing to the Italian public that Slavic poetry and therefore Slavic culture could compete with the Italian. Although all these translators were, in one way or another, influenced by Tommaseo, none of them managed to place his translation of Serbian (and Croatian) popular poetry in a broader (European) context. In this sense, and in the context of Italian romanticism, Tommaseo remains unique.
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Lo studio comparatistico qui proposto è volto ad analizzare la ricezione dell’epica popolare serba nella cultura italiana attraverso l’analisi comparata delle diverse traduzioni dei canti popolari epici serbi elaborate in lingua italiana, a partire dall’età romantica fino agli anni Cinquanta del Novecento. Un’attenzione particolare viene riservata alle scelte stilistico-metriche e formali adottate nelle traduzioni, finora poco studiate, nel tentativo di formulare giudizi più complessi e più ampi sulla poetica dei singoli autori e delle diverse epoche letterarie.
Il corpus è composto dai testi epici contenuti nelle quattro principali antologie italiane della poesia popolare serba e croata: i Canti popolari illirici di Niccolò Tommaseo (1842), i Canti popolari serbi di Giovanni Nikolić (1894, 1895), i Canti popolari serbi e croati di Pietro Kasandrić (1884, 1913, 1914, 1923) e la Poesia popolare serbo-croata di Arturo Cronia (1949). Questo lavoro parte dal presupposto metodologico che il modo di tradurre rispecchi lo stile e, in genere, anche il metodo di lavoro del traduttore; per questo le formule epiche sono state scelte come l’oggetto di studio privilegiato nell’analisi contrastiva delle differenti rese delle componenti fondamentali dello stile epico, appunto altamente formulare e fisso e perciò di difficile acclimatazione nelle forme tradizionali della poesia italiana, di matrice essenzialmente lirica. In questo senso la oral theory di Milman Parry e Albert Lord diventa il riferimento teorico fondamentale e l’analisi stilistica viene svolta prendendo come modello la partizione delle formule epiche da loro elaborata.
Le peculiarità linguistiche, metriche e stilistiche vengono messe in relazione con il contesto nel quale i traduttori si trovano ad operare. Nel caso di Tommaseo, per esempio, la temperie romantica è essenziale nel suo interessamento per la poesia popolare, ma possiamo notare come, nelle scelte formali addottate nella sua raccolta, il suo personalissimo romanitcismo venga a patti con non solo la poetica dell’epoca ma anche quela del traduttore/poeta. La sua traduzione rappresenta il frutto di una negoziazione tra il mondo popolare slavo e la tradizione letteraria italiana illustre. Dal lato opposto si pone Nikolić, che elabora una traduzione completamente target-oriented, seguendo soprattutto il grande esempio montiano. Ogni traccia di oralità, tipica della poesia popolare, viene rielaborata secondo i dettami della tradizione letteraria italiana: la paratassi diventa ipotassi, lo stile formulare epico viene quasi completamente eliminato. Kasandrić segue il metodo conciliante di Tommaseo, adattando la lingua poetica italiana alle ripetizioni epiche, ma la modernità del suo metodo sta soprattutto nella resa metrica. Kasandrić è infatti il primo traduttore di quest’epica a tentare , tra l’altro con un notevole successo, la resa del suo verso tipico, il cosiddetto decasillabo eroico. A differenza dei suoi predecessori, Cronia approccia il testo popolare senza pretese poetiche e senza un programma politico o ideologico, ma con grande scrupolo filologico. Perciò ha dato traduzioni molto letterali conservandone in gran parte i procedimenti stilistici tipici, in misura anche maggiore dello stesso Tommaseo.
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