The object of this research is the fiction of Japanese writer Higuchi Ichiyō (1872-1896), examined through translations of four of her most representative works in modern Japanese and in some languages of the euro-american area. The aspect I mainly focused on is the narratological one, including the position and the role of the narrator with respect to source and target texts. The versions in which the stories of Ichiyō, who is placed among the greatest writers of modern Japanese literature, are still handed down and published show many stylistic and formal characteristics related to the pre-modern stage, i.e. before the Meiji period. These features create considerable difficulties of interpretation, as well as significant differences between each translation, especially in relation to the narrative structure of the texts. The research has two main elements of originality conceived in consideration of the opportunities offered by a Phd program conducted under the joint supervision of two different academic environments: Japanese and Italian. First, I have applied to one case of Japanese literature a relatively recent perspective of Translation Studies: the comparative analysis of translations. This approach allows to observe the reception of a given literary text in different target cultures, starting from the premise that a translation should not be judged only in terms of "fidelity" to the original text, but rather as a literary text with its own validity and its contribution of new elements in order to expand the horizons of interpretation of a work. The example of Higuchi Ichiyō is particularly interesting in this sense, since her stories were not just translated in different periods of the 20th century (there are even two English translations dating back over a century ago) but we also have many versions in modern Japanese; therefore Higuchi Ichiyō is a virtually unique case in modern Japanese literature. The other factor of originality of the research lies in its narratological orientation. The problem of narration (katari) in Japanese literature is the object of great attention by literary critics in Japan. Even in the case of Ichiyō interpretations have recently appeared, such as those by the scholar Sasagawa Yōko, which are based on the concepts of classical narratology starting from Gérard Genette and Seymour Chatman. Not so in the euro-american context, where there is not the same interest in narratological aspects of Japanese literature and there is also lack of comparative reflections on how these issues are translated in different target languages. From this point of view too, the narrative of Higuchi Ichiyō is particularly suited to this type of analysis. As mentioned, her stories show in fact a narrative structure strongly influenced by pre-modern literary models. Being translated, this kind of narrative easily becomes subject to different interpretations, probably originated by the need of offering a product eventually accessible to the target audiences. The thesis is organized into five chapters related to four of the most representative stories by Higuchi Ichiyō: Ōtsugomori, Takekurabe, Nigorie and Jūsan'ya. For the two novels Takekurabe and Nigorie I have recently published two full translations in Italian (Higuchi Ichiyō, Due Racconti, Vecchiarelli 2013), which I take as reference in the thesis for the comparison with other versions, mainly English ones. For the other two stories the original Italian translations are limited to those passages taken into consideration for the analysis and are presented in the Appendix with Japanese parallel text. The first chapter is about Ōtsugomori ("The Last Day of the Year"), the short story that opens the so called “14 miraculous months” in Higuchi Ichiyō’s literary career. An English translation dating back to 1903 is presented, along with the figure of its author, Fujiu Teiko, a woman linked to the movement for the improvement of the conditions of domestic workers in the Meiji era. Her biography is partly rebuilt thanks to the sources I found, and considered in relation to her activity as a writer and a translator. In many passages, this translation of Ōtsugomori diverges significantly from the original text, but its interest is not so much in terms of fidelity to the original, but rather in the elements that it offers us in order to reconstruct the reception of Ichiyō’s narrative from a time very close to her untimely death, which occurred just seven years before this publication. The comparison with later versions (for some passages, in this as well as in the other stories analyzed, I examine also examples in French and German) points out this aspect with even greater evidence, showing how the literary sensibility of the writer was welcomed in Japan and abroad over the decades. As well as for the other stories, my analysis mainly focuses on how the narrator is placed in relation to narrated events and characters' voices, an aspect that, especially because of the absence of quotation marks that make possible to isolate direct speech from other narrative forms, stands as particularly problematic in translation. Significant emphasis is also given to the technique of interior monologue, and to the many examples of free indirect speech that are observed in virtually all the translations considered. Also for Takekurabe ample space is given to the analysis of interior monologue, especially for the story's main charater, Midori. In some passages I hypothesize the presence of a narrative form with functions similar to those of free indirect speech even in the source text. A possibility that indeed support the hypothesis of the existence of some elements of modernity in the literary style of Ichiyō, generally considered to be influenced, as already said above, by pre-modern models. On the other hand also in the various translations of Takekurabe free indirect speech is widely attested, although its occurrences show significant differences in the structure and in the frequency of its use, which is predominant in comparison with the source text. These narratological aspects of Takekurabe are the topic of the third chapter of the thesis, while in the second the analysis focuses particularly on the problem of tenses. Most of the translations of Ichiyō’s stories make use of past tenses, evidently in response to the assumption that the "narrative tenses" (like “passato remoto” or “imperfetto” in the case of Italian) are the most appropriate to give the effects of prose in the classical sense. However, as I try to show in this section of the thesis, the source texts do not provide us with sufficient evidences to actually consider these stories as referring to a past time. The stories instead appear told lively, with every single event caught in its becoming. It is difficult to recreate this effect just by using past tenses, nevertheless this is the choice that we can observe in almost all the examined versions. An important exception is Palude mortifera, the first Italian translation of the story Nigorie, dating back to 1920 and carried out by Shimoi Harukichi within the context of its essential contribution to the spread of Japanese culture in Italy. This translation, analyzed in the fourth chapter, is the only example in which the present tense is set as the dominant narrative tense. It is a conscious choice by a great expert of Italian culture and literature as Shimoi was, and for this reason greatly significant, especially considering that in those days “narrative present” certainly did not figure among the canonical tenses used in literary expression. Nigorie is among the tales of Ichiyō the one which relies more firmly on the direct speech of the characters, a device that contributes to emphasize the strongly dramatic dimension of this story, largely focused on the inner dilemma of the protagonist Oriki, doomed to a tragic end set by the writer in mysterious circumstances and revealed only in an indirect and confused way in the short epilogue. These almost "anti fictional" features reveal somehow the modern sensibility of Ichiyō and the analysis I proposed try to highlight the choices made by translators in this direction. For the last of the stories covered, Jūsan'ya ("The thirteenth night") another "old" translation is presented, the one by Tsuda Umeko (1904). She is better known than the aforementioned Fujiu Teiko, particularly for being, at just the age of six, the youngest participant in the Iwakura Mission. Her commitment to the promotion and improvement of female education in Japan was a constant in her life, and this translation (presented in a partial form with Japanese parallel text) falls largely within the educational project for the spread of English language related to the magazine “The Student”, of which Tsuda was one of the most active collaborators. In addition to this version – which was already confronted with the one by Robert Lyons Danly (1981) in a study by Mitsutani Māgaretto – for Jūsan'ya we have also the translation made by writer and essayist Suga Atsuko. This and other versions (including one in contemporary Japanese by Shinohara Hajime which has some interesting ideas concerning the distribution of narrative discourse in the text) are compared to show that certain solutions in narrative style found by Ichiyō deserve to be examined in detail in order to understand both which might be the modern elements latent in it, and to what degree of approximation some languages of the euro–american area are able to render the nuances of this kind of narrative speech. As the title of the thesis suggests, the methodology used for this research is “practice” and “comparison”. Beside the comparative analysis of foreign language and modern Japanese translations, I supply in fact original translations in Italian conducted on the basis of an approach different from those attempted until now. In addition to the solutions already mentioned about the use of tenses, I proposed a method of translation that tries to be as respectful as possible of the source texts in terms of rhythm, distribution of paragraphs and of narrative speech, in which dialogues are not separated from the rest of the narration by quotation marks, a common practice in modern fiction, but only through the nuances of the colloquial language.
|Titolo:||Traduzione: pratica e confronto. Il discorso narrativo in Higuchi Ichiyo attraverso le traduzioni|
|Data di discussione:||18-mar-2016|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||07a Tesi di Dottorato|