The Influence of the Translation Tradition on the Construction of Identity: Analysis of the English Translation of Amereida


  • Virginia Mattioli



Translation, culture, and identity are three strictly related concepts. Such a relationship is even more evident in the American continent, whose identity was defined by the literary and translation production based on the vertical relationship between America and Europe. Since then, identity represents an essential although still debated issue in the American context. This study adopts a historical-literary perspective to examine the position of the translation of Amereida into English within the issue of American identity through its comparison with the larger literary and translation tradition. Concretely, the paper presents a translational comparison of the terminology related to the concept of “Americanity” between the English version of Amereida and the translation of the primary and secondary sources used for the creation of the poem. Indeed, as a part of the cultural context, the literary and translation tradition contributes to defining the identity of a community. As a consequence, to remain faithful to the literary and translation tradition which perpetuates the colonial image of America and European superiority implies accepting such vision; on the contrary, to move away from such tradition is a way of refusing the colonialist ideas and proposing a different concept of identity, independent from the Western world. The results suggest that the translation of Amereida tends to perpetuate the literary and translation tradition as well as those colonialist ideas that originated it. Moreover, a more qualitative reading of the results highlights the tendency of the translated poem to remain as faithful as possible to the original text, allowing for an understanding of the interpretation adopted for the translation of the poem. keywords:American identity issue; translation tradition; terminological analysis; translation as a rewriting.


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