With “extreme translations” I’m referring to translations of texts characterized by particular formal constraints such as puns, anagrams, lipograms, pangrams, palindromes, acrostics or other similar forms of composition. Such texts are often thought as difficult to translate or completely untranslatable. The analysis of problems related to the translation of this kind can be a useful way to consider both technical and ontological issues. What do we mean when we complain that a poem in translation is no longer the same? And what do we mean when we insist that the essence of a text should be preserved in translation? And what is the essence of a text? Is it what the text says? Or what the text does? Or what the text is? Through a number of case studies of literary texts translated from English into Italian, (a pun by J. Pollack, poems by P. Pereira and T.S. Eliot, a dialogue by D. Hofstadter), this essay will try to suggest possible answers to those questions. It will also try to show that “creativity”, which seems to be necessary for these extreme translations, is not mere spontaneity, but careful and at the same time respectful consideration of the formal constraints both intratextual and extratextual. The interplay and interconnection of such constraints constitutes the holistic nature of the text.
Traduzioni estreme: gli orsi scalzi, i coccodrilli egizi e i gatti di Eliot / Nasi, Franco. - In: AUTOGRAFO. - ISSN 1721-5943. - STAMPA. - 52:(2014), pp. 19-33.