The Voices Within

by Daniele Petruccioli

Translating literature means translating voices. To construct their narrative all authors use a certain number of different attitudes towards language that involve lexis, syntax and rhythm. This happens not only for the mimetic construction of characters and in the particular case of the narrator, but also for the inner structuring of the text. The sum of all these attitudes forms what we call the voice of the author. Authors use different methods, conscious and unconscious, to construct their voices. What kind of techniques, tools and tricks does a translator use in order to recognize and recreate the different voices in a book? Is he/she justified in using his/her own personal memories, unconscious mind, idiolect and family sayings in approaching this task?

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