Ozick respects the Jewish Covenant and its tradition, but she uses her imagination to invent stories; she worries about the temptations of paganism and the dangers of idolatry, but she fabricates fictional golems; she strongly refuses the label “woman writer”, but she writes essays in defense of feminism, demanding equal rights with respect to the Torah; she despises the treatment of Jewish history (and of the Holocaust in particular) as fiction, but she “cannot not write about it”. In short, Cynthia Ozick’s art resists narrow categorization and her fiction overcomes rigid confines, both literary and ideological. These intriguing thematic complexities and cultural intricacies, dealt with a robust sense of humor and stylistic richness, deserve to be brought to the attention of the Italian reading public. In fact, if Ozick’s belletristic qualities have been amply recognized in the United States, her popularity in Italy is still scant as very little of her production has been translated into Italian. The aim of this study is to offer a sample of Cynthia Ozick’s literary production as representative of both contemporary American literature and Jewish culture. Moreover, Cynthia Ozick’s work is used to exemplify some of the major recent shifts in translation studies, showing how the degree of her popularity in Italy depends on a slow dynamic, aimed at filling cultural gaps or at mapping new emerging cultural and religious geographies. Ozick’s reception in Italian, in fact, raises significant linguistic and cultural problems including assimilation and marginality, the clash between the periphery and the center, and the use of translation as the process of canonization of a foreign writer who is also the representative of a “weak” literature, in the sense given by Itamar Even-Zohar in his Polysystem Theory.Daniela Fargione teaches English Language and Anglo-American Literature at the University of Turin. During her long sojourn in the USA as a Fulbright scholar, she received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studied Theory and Practice of Literary Translation under the supervision of Proff. Maria Tymocko and Edwin Gentzler. She was guest lecturer in several university conferences held on different occasions during her stay in the States. She has translated various books into Italian, and she is the author of Giardini e labirinti: l’America di Edgar Allan Poe (2005).
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|data pubblicazione: ||Gennaio 2006|