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Les rôles transfrontaliers joués par les femmes


In my work on the database WomenWriters I came across a bibliographical survey, published in 1919 by Johannes Berg, Over den invloed van de Italiaansche letterkunde op de Nederlandsche gedurende de negentiende eeuw (About the influence of Italian literature on Dutch literature in the nineteenth century). This book was the result of a deep concern, felt by this librarian of the university of Amsterdam in the beginning of the twentieth century, about the lack of knowledge of Dutch readers with Italian literature, compared to the knowledge of French, German and English literature. His search for the ‘influence’ of Italian writers in Holland made him create a survey of Italian literature in which ‘everything’ was mentioned: not only the works and reception of famous Italian writers, from the twelfth until the twentieth century, but also the minor ones, with no discrimination of women writers. He offered us the names and titles of women writers, their translators (several women), the articles on their work and on their translations, and, last but not least, a list of all the nineteenth century periodicals he consulted.

In my paper I will analyse the corpus of Dutch translations of Italian women writers in the last three decades of the nineteenth century. I will focus on two main authors: Matilde Serao and Neera (Anna Zuccari Radius) and the transfer of their novels and stories from Italy to Holland. How and why these texts arrived in Holland? What role took publishers and (women) translators in this process? And what was the reception of their work in Holland, compared to the reception they had in Italy?

Els Naaijkens

SvD, May 2010

  • Conferences > NEWW participations > June 2011 > Naaijkens

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