Shortly after its publication in 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was an international bestseller and soon became a classic of children’s literature. The Italian translation and reception reveal however a different picture and the circumstances of its cultural transfer questions the criteria of selection used to identify classics. By looking at the evolution of the Italian reception of L. M. Montgomery’s novel, the study highlights how it acquired its “classic” status in Italy and also reveals how commercial success and popularity may influence the cultural transfer and transmission of a literary work, shaping its perception and identity in the new context. Existing Italian translation from 1980 onwards are presented in their editorial context, so as to underline the crucial role of publishers in the “making of a classic”. In order to further highlight the key role of editorial strategies in the classicizing process of Montgomery’s novel in Italy, two peritextual spaces in translated texts are closely examined: series and titles. The publication in series of children’s classics granted the novel its classic status, resulting in a lasting and stable presence on the market. The choice of a popular and familiar title for the Italian translation, allowing an immediate and positive identification with the animated television series, further contributed to its endurance. Evolving from her popular television beginnings to an acclaimed classic heroine, for her Italian readers Anne Shirley is simply “Anne of Red Hair”.

From Green Gables to Red Hair. The Italian Translation and Reception of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables

VALERIA ILLUMINATI
2020

Abstract

Shortly after its publication in 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was an international bestseller and soon became a classic of children’s literature. The Italian translation and reception reveal however a different picture and the circumstances of its cultural transfer questions the criteria of selection used to identify classics. By looking at the evolution of the Italian reception of L. M. Montgomery’s novel, the study highlights how it acquired its “classic” status in Italy and also reveals how commercial success and popularity may influence the cultural transfer and transmission of a literary work, shaping its perception and identity in the new context. Existing Italian translation from 1980 onwards are presented in their editorial context, so as to underline the crucial role of publishers in the “making of a classic”. In order to further highlight the key role of editorial strategies in the classicizing process of Montgomery’s novel in Italy, two peritextual spaces in translated texts are closely examined: series and titles. The publication in series of children’s classics granted the novel its classic status, resulting in a lasting and stable presence on the market. The choice of a popular and familiar title for the Italian translation, allowing an immediate and positive identification with the animated television series, further contributed to its endurance. Evolving from her popular television beginnings to an acclaimed classic heroine, for her Italian readers Anne Shirley is simply “Anne of Red Hair”.
VALERIA ILLUMINATI
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/805359
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