In the 1930s translation became a key issue in the cultural politics of the
Fascist regime due to the fact that Italy was publishing more translations
than any other country in the world. Making use of extensive archival
research, the author of this new study examines this 'invasion of translations'
through a detailed statistical analysis of the translation market.
The book shows how translations appeared to challenge official claims about
the birth of a Fascist culture and cast Italy in a receptive role that did not tally
with Fascist notions of a dominant culture extending its influence abroad. The
author shows further that the commercial impact of this invasion provoked a
sustained reaction against translated popular literature on the part of those
writers and intellectuals who felt threatened by its success. He examines the
aggressive campaign that was conducted against the Italian Publishers
Federation by the Authors and Writers Union (led by the Futurist poet F. T.
Marinetti), accusing them of favouring their private profit over the national
interest. Finally, the author traces the evolution of Fascist censorship,
showing how the regime developed a gradually more repressive policy
towards translations as notions of cultural purity began to influence the
perception of imported literature.
Contents: Establishing the Fascist Regime: Systems of control and
censorship - The Statistics of the Translation Industry: Italy, Germany and
France compared - The Translation Invasion: 1929-1934: The first signs of
hostility - Translation and Cultural Autarky: 1936-1938: Italy becomes a
colonial power - Translation as Cultural Pollution: 1938-1943: The impact of
official fascism - Conclusions: Translation and fascism.
Christopher Rundle is a tenured researcher at the Advanced School for
Interpreters and Translators (SSLMIT) at the University of Bologna and
Honorary Fellow of the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the
University of Manchester.