Emanuel Carnevali's cultural translation: an Italian in Modernist America
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The thesis investigates translingual writing – that is, writing in a language which is not the native one – at the intersection between culture, identity, and translation. The focus is here on Italian American writer Emanuel Carnevali (1897-1942), who worked as both translator and translingual author. Carnevali's relationship with language is analysed in his various texts (poetry, criticism, fiction, memoir, translations), as he used English to represent and challenge cultural constraints relating to both Italian and American cultures. The first part of the thesis discusses Carnevali's relation to Italian and American cultural constraints, in the attempt to build his artistic identity. The focus is on his emigration to New York in 1914, and his subsequent decision to write in English. Building his individuality as an artist in America, he also discussed various aspects of Italian culture through fiction, criticism and translation into English. The second part of the thesis deals with Carnevali's use of the English language. He built his style in relation to the language of Anglophone modernism, as well as the language of the American tradition. The notion of linguistic assimilation is on the other hand reductive in Carnevali's case, as he continued handling the English language in a constant dialectic between the familiar and the unfamiliar. The third part considers Carnevali's works written after his 1922 return to Italy. Ill and hospitalised, he nevertheless continued to write in English. Yet, Italian subject matter and linguistic influences increasingly found their way into his English texts. This phenomenon offers the chance to shed light on the development of translingual writing under changing conditions. By analysing translingualism as an ongoing process, influenced by different cultural constraints and linked with the multiple dimensions of translation, this dissertation intends to provide a systematic reading of translingual writing.
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