Navigation – Plan du site
Dossier
2. Transpositions between verbal semiotics

The Literary Prestige of the Translated Text: Collodi’s Re-writing of Perrault’s Contes

Federica Massia
p. 127-154

Résumés

La traduction littéraire engendre des textes qui acquièrent leur propre prestige et leur propre autonomie. Les textes traduits entrent dans la culture, la littérature et la langue réceptrices, en constituant une liaison d’échange réciproque avec elles. En particulier, l’intention de cet article est de se concentrer sur l’influence des traductions sur le développement de la langue réceptrice, surtout pendant les périodes historiques de changement social et culturel. Dans cette perspective, la traduction faite par Collodi des Contes de Perrault (1875) se révèle très significative pour plusieurs raisons. Tout d’abord, elle peut sans doute être définie comme une « belle infidèle ». En effet le but de Collodi n’est pas la restitution fidèle et soigneuse des textes originaux, mais une ré-écriture de ceux-ci qui puisse être appropriée pour un contexte social et culturel différent. Pour cette raison Collodi s’efforça de créer un nouveau système linguistique qui pût satisfaire les besoins d’expression et de communication de l’Italie récemment unifiée. Cette opération est intéressante au moins sous deux points de vue. En premier lieu, elle est une preuve originale à l’appui de la conception de la traduction comme processus sémiotique. Ensuite, elle est très utile pour réfléchir à la responsabilité du traducteur sur l’évolution et le renouvellement de la langue. En effet, au travers de cette expérience de la traduction littéraire, Collodi eut l’opportunité d’affiner la langue éloquente et expressive qui serait devenue celle de Pinocchio, en influençant profondément la formation de l’italien. Dans la première partie de cet article, l’auteure souligne l’importance des traductions pour l’enrichissement des différentes cultures et langues, en mentionnant certains des moments fondamentaux de l’histoire des études sur la traduction. Ensuite, elle présente le cas de I Racconti delle fate, en remarquant les caractéristiques exceptionnelles de la traduction de Collodi. Le cœur de cet article est représenté par la section d’analyse d’une sélection d’exemples textuels choisis dans les fables de Collodi, dont le but est de montrer soit l’opération de ré-écriture créative des textes français, soit l’effort pour la création d’une nouvelle langue italienne. Cette analyse est faite en comparant le texte de Collodi avec celui de Perrault et en consultant les dictionnaires de la langue parlée du xixe siècle. Ensuite, la traduction de Collodi est confrontée avec celle de Cesare Donati, afin de souligner les particularités de Collodi. Précisément la comparaison entre deux traductions qui sont contemporaines et en même temps si différentes révèle la fonction essentielle des phrases idiomatiques dans la formation de la langue de Collodi et, en conséquence, dans son influence sur la langue italienne d’usage courant.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

1. Introduction

1Habent sua fata libelli”. True, even more so for literary translation. Translated texts come to acquire their own literary prestige and autonomy: they enter the receiving culture, literature and language, establishing with them a relationship of mutual influence and exchange. For the receiving culture, translation is the vehicle for both enrichment and self-consciousness.

  • 1 Borutti & Heidmann (2012), p. 86.
  • 2 The English translations of all Italian citations are in brackets. All those are personal translati (...)
  • 3 Borutti & Heidmann (2012), pp. 84-107.

2From the second half of the 18th century a new consideration of the collective and social value of translation has arisen. German Romantics in particular acknowledged the essential function of translation in the reception and assimilation of cultural subjects, artistic experiences and linguistic structures and expressions. More precisely, they pointed out the possibility of this enrichment not despite cultural and linguistic differences, but thanks to them. Translation is regarded as an “operazione di conoscenza che comporta di per sé una distanziazione e una valorizzazione dello spazio che separa e insieme lega due organismi linguistici e due opere1 (operation of knowledge which entails both distancing and valuing the space that separates and at the same time unites two languages and two works).2 The Romantics considered the distance not as a damaging element, but as a fertile space for an encounter with the other and the different. Thus, enhancement in two directions is generated: acquaintance of the new and awareness of self-identity and peculiarity. Translation belongs to this distance, to this state of suspension where it is possible for knowledge to grow.3

  • 4 Schleiermacher (1813).
  • 5 Humboldt (1836).
  • 6 Borutti & Heidmann (2012), pp. 108-136.

3When embarking on the process of recognising the importance of translations for the cultural and linguistic enrichment of a nation, the pivotal role played by authors such as Žukovskij, Schleiermacher, von Humboldt, and Leopardi cannot be overstated. In their view, translations spread other countries’ knowledge and culture, allowing at the same time a beneficial contribution to the vital renovation of languages. In particular, it was Schleiermacher himself who turned around the science of translation, considering the two poles of language and culture as strictly interrelated by the cognitive value of linguistic communication. He identified in language not only the means of expression and communication, but also the means of the thought itself, the form of mental content.4 Similarly, von Humboldt defined the language as an enérgeia (active energy) which shapes the world and the human mind.5 Furthermore, he saw in the plurality of cultures and points of view modelled by different languages a great resource. In this perspective, the role of translation in the development of knowledge is not accidental, but precisely determined by the value of language as a constitutive component of human culture and identity. For this reason, the process of both getting acquainted with the other and of gaining self-awareness can be defined as translational in nature. Therefore, translation can be deemed as a paradigm of anthropological knowledge and of intercultural exchange.6

  • 7 Terracini (1996), pp. 63-86.

4However, besides the role that translation plays in the development of the culture and identity of a nation, it is now pivotal to delve deeper in the importance it has for the growth of the receiving language. Considering the close relation between language and the culture expressed through it, Terracini (1996) defined translation not as a mere process of reduplication, but as an effort for cultural “transposition”. This means that the translator is stimulated to recreate the formal values that he finds in the original text in the spirit of his own language, which this comparison ripens and enriches.7 More specifically, what is worth noting here is that this influence of translations on the natural renovation of a language is even more valuable during periods of historical and social change. Indeed, since language is the manifestation of a specific cultural context, it is easy to understand that its evolution ought to go along with the development of values and mentality of its country. This leads us to consider Collodi’s translation of Perrault’s Contes as a particularly fitting example thereof.

  • 8 Despite the different historical origin of the terms “semiotics” and “semiology”, I will use them a (...)

5In 1875, the recently-united Italy was seeking a system of values and a common language to build its national identity on. Therefore, the translation of French fairy tales became for Collodi the testing ground for the construction of a new linguistic system suitable for the needs of new-born Italy. Collodi’s operation can be qualified as a semiotic8 process not only because, as every translation, it is a transposition from a linguistic system to a different one, but also because of his endeavour to build a new system of signification. The aim of his translation is not a faithful and accurate rendering of the original, but the recreation of the Perraultian texts in a world that would appear warm and familiar to his readers. Collodi’s rewriting aims at offering to his public a model of effective and meaningful language taking roots in spoken language. Intriguingly, the language originated from the translation of Perrault’s fairy tales would become the one used for Pinocchio, which played such a heavy influence in the development of modern Italian.

6The aim of this paper is to cast light on Collodi’s translation, a deeper analysis of which is a relevant case of study for many reasons. First of all, as mentioned above, it is a non-trivial supporting evidence for the recognition of translation as a semiotic process. Then, I Racconti delle fate can be labelled as a “belle infidèle”, although, as an author’s translation, its infidelity takes the shape of an original re-creation, acquiring autonomy within its own national literature. Furthermore, Collodi’s translation clearly highlights how remarkable the role of translation could be throughout phases of historical, social and cultural change. Finally, it allows a reflection on the responsibility of the translator in the formation and development of everyday language.

7In this paper, I will begin by introducing the case of Collodi’s translation (section 2), stressing the accent on his operation of rewriting of the original French texts. First of all, I will describe the Italian historical context in the second half of the 19th century, with particular attention to the debate around the language and the importance acknowledged to the schooling system (2.1). Then, I will point out the role that Carlo Collodi played in this context (2.2). After that, I will shed light on the significance of this background considering some of the main theories about the influence of social, cultural and anthropological factors on both the creation and the reception of literary products (2.3). In section 2.4, I will define Collodi’s translation as a “domestication” of French fables, aiming at constructing a new Italian language. Before proceeding with the analysis of this language, I will show how, despite the great autonomy of I Racconti delle fate with respect to the original texts, Perrault left Collodi an important legacy of narrative structures and fabulous elements (2.5). Afterwards, I will describe and reflect on Collodi’s language (section 3). In section 3.1 I will analyse some examples taken from I Racconti delle fate, in order to point out the main characteristics of Collodi’s writing style. In section 3.2 I will compare Collodi’s translation and Cesare Donati’s contemporary one, which is extremely significant to draw attention on Collodi’s peculiarities. Indeed, the comparison between the two different translations highlights the core value and function of idiomatic expressions in the formation of Collodi’s language (section 3.3).

2. A new text for a different context: Collodi re-writes Perrault

2.1. The socio-cultural context of newly-united Italy: the questione della lingua and the importance of schooling

  • 9 Pizzoli (2011), p. 22.
  • 10 (Ibid., p. 40).

8Italy was unified in 1861. Despite the political union, however, Italy still had to deal with many internal divisions, in terms of social, cultural and linguistic differences between its citizens. This is what Massimo D’Azeglio meant in his famous statement: “fatta l’Italia, bisogna fare gli italiani” (now that Italy is made, we still have to make Italians). The recently-united country needed to find new values and reinforce its national identity. In this process, language represented a major component. Indeed, if language is broadly recognised as one of the fundamental elements of a country’s identity, this is all the more true for what concerns Italian history, since throughout Italian Risorgimento the issues of political and linguistic unity have been closely interrelated. Hence, first leaders of the Italian nation were conscious of the importance of a common Italian language as “il più potente cemento unitario9 (the strongest unifying cement), “veicolo potentissimo di idee patrie, la base della civiltà italiana10 (a powerful vehicle of national values, the basis of Italian society).

  • 11 According to De Mauro (1963), the percentage of Italian citizens speaking Italian was around the 2. (...)

9In 1861, almost all Italians used their dialects in their daily communication.11 There was a common Italian language, but only the Church used it; a standard written Italian existed, but there was no such a thing as a commonly spoken Italian — essential for Italians coming from different regions to communicate. Besides, a widespread illiteracy worsened the situation. According to the census, as much as three Italians out of four were illiterate in 1861. In addition, there was a great disparity between north and south of the national territory, and between men and women, too.

  • 12 Trifone (1999).

10It can be said that a large circulation of modern Italian was achieved only one hundred years later, after the radio (1924) and especially the television (1954) entered almost all Italian houses. However, in the last decades of the 19th century the linguistic situation of young Italy could ameliorate, also thanks to a number of social and demographic changes and to the efforts of the ruling class to spread literacy. For instance, factors such as emigration, national mandatory draft, technical and scientific progress (with consequent urbanisation), and development of daily press significantly influenced “un’acquisizione spontanea, ancorché imperfetta, della lingua, dettata soprattutto dal bisogno primario di farsi comprendere12 (a spontaneous, even though still flawed, acquisition of the language, imposed by the primary need to be understood). Moreover, Italian authorities were conscious of the importance of finding a common language both for administration needs and for the reinforcement of the national identity. For this reason, many measures were taken in order to spread the Italian language and to reduce illiteracy. First of all, primary school became mandatory and free for all children. Then, the production of dictionaries, grammars and childhood narrative books was promoted, generating a real editorial boom.

11Italian leaders also encouraged the debate around the “questione della lingua”. This label defines a crucial discussion, started by Dante, deepened during the 16th century, and crucially revived in the 19th, concerning which language the Italian peninsula should adopt, and what its defining characteristics should be. Even though the questione della lingua lasted for centuries, since the very beginning of Italian literature, in the 19th century it crucially intertwined with the matter of political unification. In the following century, Gramsci asserted that

  • 13 […] every time that the questione della lingua somehow emerges, it means that a series of different (...)

[…] ogni volta che affiora, in un modo o nell’altro, la quistione della lingua, significa che si sta imponendo una serie di altri problemi: la formazione e l’allargamento della classe dirigente, la necessità di stabilire rapporti più intimi e sicuri tra i gruppi dirigenti e la massa popolare-nazionale, cioè di riorganizzare l’egemonia culturale.13 (Gramsci 1948-1951, p. 2346)

  • 14 Marazzini (2011), p. 72.
  • 15 Eco (1975), p. 14.

12These few words, written by an intellectual of great sensitivity towards political issues, points out the social and political significance of the questione della lingua and the debate around the linguistic regulation. Indeed, “benché la lingua abbia senza dubbio una valenza artistica, frutto della creatività individuale, tuttavia essa non potrebbe esistere come mezzo di comunicazione collettivo, nella dimensione sociale, senza stabili modelli e salde convenzioni14 (despite the undoubted artistic value of language, outcome of individual creativity, nonetheless it could not exist as a shared means of communication, in a social environment, without stable models and firm rules). It is precisely the social convention which guarantees a signification system (code) to work.15

  • 16 Manzoni (1868).
  • 17 Manzoni (1868), p. 53.

13The most mature result of these considerations over the language in this century is represented by Alessandro Manzoni’s thinking, both in the linguistic elaboration of his masterpiece, I Promessi Sposi, and in the report Dell’unità della lingua e dei mezzi per diffonderla.16 In 1868, indeed, the Minister of Public Education Emilio Broglio designated a board to “proporre tutti i provvedimenti e i modi coi quali si [potesse] aiutare a rendere più universale in tutti gli ordini del popolo la notizia della buona lingua e della buona pronunzia” (suggest every possible measure and way useful to universally spread the good language and the good pronunciation in all social classes).17 In his Relazione, Manzoni identified the spoken Florentine as the only linguistic variety which could have been accepted all over the national territory, thanks to its literary tradition and prestige. Manzoni also recommended a number of measures useful to spread the language, such as a dictionary of the spoken Florentine (see section 3.3) and the hiring of Florentine teachers in Italian schools.

  • 18 Polimeni (2012), p. 11.
  • 19 Polimeni (2011), p. 24.
  • 20 Polimeni (2012), p. 11.

14What is worth mentioning here is the role that both Alessandro Manzoni and the ruling class recognised to the school, held as the very first instrument for teaching a common language and building the national identity. Considering the “fondamentali anni Settanta” (fundamental Seventies), the questione della linguarivela in trasparenza una questione della scuola e nella fattispecie una questione della lingua a scuola18 (reveals a school issue, and more precisely the issue of the language at school). Indeed, school “può e deve diventare luogo di trasmissione di una cultura democratica, proprio nella misura in cui riuscirà a proporsi come ‘mezzo’ di un’educazione linguistica capace di far interagire gli individui nella società19 (can and should become a place for the transmission of a democratic culture, in so far as it will succeed in becoming a means of linguistic education able to make individuals interact within the society). In other words, the necessities derived from the political unification and the new role recognised to free and mandatory education led to a new consideration of the language. The gap between written and spoken language which characterised the history of Italian was eventually filled up in 19th century: the language which had been bound to literary tradition for centuries became “strumento di comunicazione di un’intera società” (means of communication for the whole society), “un mezzo condiviso di partecipazione alla vita civile20 (a shared instrument of participation to civil life).

2.2. Carlo Collodi’s role in the literary and linguistic context of 19th century

  • 21 Asor Rosa (1997), p. 555.

15This is the background where Carlo Collodi works. Far from representing an isolated case, his commitment to childhood narrative and to the diffusion of Florentine language is part of the “fortemente pedagogizzante21 (strongly pedagogical) spirit of those years. The awareness of his operation is demonstrated by years of experience through the literary and linguistic situation of Italy.

16First of all, Collodi spent thirty years working as a journalist and as a writer. He was a theatrical and musical reviewer, a journalist of politics and satire, and a writer of humoristic novels. Clearly, all these experiences represented decades of literary and linguistic experimentation.

17Moreover, he participated directly to the discussion about the questione della lingua, being a member of the board that minister Broglio designated to come up with the Novo vocabolario della lingua italiana secondo l’uso di Firenze (1868). Collodi’s involvement in this project was brief and occasional. Nevertheless, it must have represented an occasion to become acquainted with the linguistic issue of the united Italy.

  • 22 Catricalà (1994).

18In addition to that, Collodi undertook the task of writing textbooks for Florentine schools. In particular, he wrote the Grammatica di Giannettino (1883), a grammar built up as a dialogue between a teacher and a pupil, using a colloquial language. In other words, Collodi abided by the traditional grammatical norm, but at the same time he used spoken language in the narrative and dialogical parts of his Grammatica di Giannettino, reflecting the diamesic difference which characterised the history of Italian language.22

19Finally, Collodi became a childhood writer, and this obviously gave him the chance to reason about the educational influence his language should have had.

  • 23 Bonanni (2013), p. 93.

20In 1875, when the Florentine publisher Paggi asked him to translate a selection of French fables by Perrault, Madame d’Aulnoy and Madame Leprince de Beaumont, Collodi was working as a secretary at Florence prefecture, and his long-lasting season of politic journalism and theatrical production was fading. In that particular moment, the encounter with French fable authors represented for him the opportunity for a real turning point in his career. Indeed, this first fortuitous contact with childhood literature offered him a new testing ground both for his narrative and linguistic research and for his moralising impulse. Remarkably, the fables anthology was designed as part of an editorial series titled “Biblioteca Scolastica” (School Library) intended to support schooling and “l’apprendimento del buon italiano in un paese unito ormai politicamente ma non ancora linguisticamente23 (the learning of correct Italian in a country already united from the political point of view, but not yet from the linguistic one).

2.3. The influence of the socio-cultural context on the creation and the reception of literary products

  • 24 Ferrari-Bravo (1975).

21Russian formalists, followed by exponents of the semiological school of Prague and, more recently, by the ones of Tartu, have cast a light on the tight relation between literature and society. The literary system is not a closed, autonomous nucleus. On the contrary, it tends to be deeply influenced by cultural, ideological and economic factors. Art can be thought of as a “sphere”, concentric to the broader “sphere” of culture, having as a centre the human conception of the world, which changes through different historical ages. In other words, the literary text reproduces the structure of the world present in the writer’s mind.24 Therefore, Tartu’s semiologists studied art not only in its literary nature, but more broadly as an historical, cultural and anthropological fact.

22However, this does not mean that literature represent a mere reflection of processes which are external to the artistic production. Accordingly, Mukařovskí (1966, p. 146) believes that a semiological concept of literature allows to recognise its interaction with the social environment impeding, at the same time, a unilateral approach to texts—as purely literary objects, or as passive results of the external reality.

  • 25 Corti (1976). See also Segre (1974).
  • 26 About the concept of reading as a fundamental part of the generative process of the text see also E (...)
  • 27 Corti (1976), pp. 64-65.

23In this perspective, it becomes crucial to consider not only the context in which the work of art was born, but also the one of its reception. When the sender (author) and the addressee (reader) of the text do not belong to the same historical and socio-cultural context, the text can be subject to different decodings and interpretations.25 Hence, no text is ever definitive nor permanent. Barthes (1970) went as far as conceiving reading as a re-writing of the text, and the reader as a producer more than its consumer.26 Even without accepting the idea of an open text and the concept of the reader as its producer, the addressee of the text can be considered as a participant to the polysemous life of the text, “che non cessa mai di essere fatto, ma non cessa nemmeno di essere legato alla sua origine27 (which never ceases to be created, but also remains always bound to its origin).

  • 28 Bachtin (1937-1973).
  • 29 (Ibid., p. 400).

24Bachtin makes a similar consideration when transposing the concept of “chronotope” from mathematical sciences to literature theory. The meaning carried by words—and thus the sense of texts—is connected to extra-linguistic factors, and influenced by the geographical, chronological and cultural environment where they arise.28 Also Bachtin employs these considerations in analysing the relation between the author and the reader-listener: since they may belong to different social and cultural contexts, often distant in time and place, the meaning of texts changes according to the different chronotopical coordinates. Hence, the readers‑listeners renew and recreate the text, taking part in the creation of the world represented in it.29

25Bachtin did not deal with the specific issue of translation. Nevertheless, his viewpoint and the peculiar concept of chronotope seem very productive in translation studies as well. The same is true for the above mentioned semiological studies (schools of Prague and Tartu, and Italian school) concerning the social and cultural aspects of literature and the intriguing relation between the author and the reader, or—more precisely—between the text and the reader. Indeed, every translation is first of all a critical reading, an interpretation of the text. Moreover, the distance from the chronotope of the authors and the one of their reader-translator is an intrinsic feature of the translational transposition of the text. The concept of chronotope effectively leads to consider the cultural aspects of the translational—and more generally communicative—mediation. Translation can thus be considered as the path between the chronotope of the original text and the one of the translated text. This distance can be covered in two directions depending on the translating strategy: the translator could either bring readers towards the original text, or move the text closer to them. These are the two main strategies of translation debated throughout all centuries of translation theory, and that Lawrence Venuti (1995) defined as “foreignization” and “domestication”.

26Berman (1984) stated that the tendency to domestication is inherent in every translation, and no translation is free from deforming impulses. However, far from being an unintentional result, in Collodi’s translation domestication is a conscious purpose.

2.4. I Racconti delle fate: a “domesticating” translation

  • 30 Castellani Pollidori (1983), p. LXV.

27Collodi is a reader-translator who is conscious of his re-writing, as he aims at adapting the French Contes de fées to his Italian readers. This domestication is primarily obtained through the language, the spoken Tuscan-Florentine language shared by the writer and his readers. On the one hand, Collodi attempts to adopt a language that could be familiar and comprehensible to a large public; on the other hand, he is conscious that Italian narrative is lacking in this language and he wishes to create it for his public. Hence, the semiotic nature of Collodi’s translation shines through this effort to create a new text and a linguistic system able to fulfil the new expressive and communicative needs of the Italian country. This is how Collodi’s translation reveals its creative, poietic value. Before than a translator, Collodi is a writer, thus his belle infidèle translation is actually a writing exercise: it becomes an opportunity “di affinamento e collaudo di mezzi espressivi30 (to sharpen and test his expressive tools), to reach a deeper awareness of his own linguistic and stylistic abilities.

28Significantly, Collodi introduces his translation with this “Avvertenza” (note of the translator):

  • 31 While translating the Racconti delle fate into Italian I endeavoured to remain faithful to the Fre (...)

Nel voltare in italiano i Racconti delle fate m’ingegnai, per quanto era in me, di serbarmi fedele al testo francese. Parafrasarli a mano libera mi sarebbe parso un mezzo sacrilegio. A ogni modo, qua e là mi feci lecite alcune leggerissime varianti, sia di vocabolo, sia di andatura di periodo, sia di modi di dire: e questo ho voluto notare qui in principio, a scanso di commenti, di atti subitanei di stupefazione e di scrupoli grammaticali o di vocabolario. Peccato confessato, mezzo perdonato: e così sia.31 (Collodi 1892, p. 5)

  • 32 In many occasions Collodi shows off his indifference to linguistic norms. In Una lettera al Fanfull (...)

29This passage represents an interesting starting point for the analysis of Collodian texts, because it reflects, both in form and content, the operation the author made for his translation. Collodi declares that he tried to be faithful to the original French text, except for a number of formal variations of vocabulary (“varianti […] di vocabolo”), syntactic constructions (“andatura di periodo”) and idiomatic expressions (“modi di dire”). It is through these variations—which the writer identifies exactly—that the language of the fables is altered in a more lively and colloquial way. Through this Avvertenza, Collodi shows his carelessness towards the strict norms of grammar and dictionaries, claiming the need for a spontaneous and natural language, both in original works and in translations.32 In addition, the closing sentence deserves to be lingered on. Indeed, Collodi overtly chooses an idiomatic expression, which is probably the most emblematic feature of his writing style and, at the same time, the formal counterpart of his cheerful and mocking temperament. Therefore, these few lines seem to encapsulate the authentic nature of the (translated) texts that followed, proving the well-awareness of the re-writing choices he had taken.

  • 33 Bonanni (2013), p. 107.
  • 34 Ibid., p. 110.
  • 35 Bertacchini, (1961), pp. 161-206.
  • 36 Ibid., p. 189.

30By working on the language, Collodi manages to alter the texts in their deeper nature. He insinuates “nella materia fiabesca una vena di realismo quotidiano” (a vein of everyday realism into the fairy material), giving the aristocratic original text “un sano e vivace colorito toscano, un’aria familiare e casalinga” (a healthy and lively Tuscan character, a familiar and domestic look).33 Collodi’s translation can thus be defined a domestication not only because of the Italianisation of cultural references, characters, and settings, but precisely by reason of the “processo di riconversione realistica degli elementi fantastici34 (process of realistic rearrangement of fantastic elements), which entirely reshapes the fables “in senso umano e familiare35 (in a human and familiar way). For this reason, I Racconti delle fate represent a great example of what Ute Heidmann (2010) calls “reconfiguration générique”: Collodi’s translation of French fables restructures the texts from the inside, converting them into “pezzi di racconti italiani, o addirittura toscani36 (pieces of Italian or even Tuscan tales).

  • 37 Pontiggia (1976), p. XVII.

31The most significant place where this process can be observed are the moralités. Indeed, morals are the moments of greatest freedom in Collodi’s translation, when “l’opera di ricreazione, popolaresca e sapida, di Collodi si sbriglia in libertà37 (Collodi’s work of colloquial and savoury recreation is given free rein).

32Perrault’s Contes came with a strict moralistic and gnomic structure—some letters of presentation and dedication, and moralités concluding every fable. Of the original Perrault’s structure, Collodi maintains only the morals. Nevertheless, even the morals undergo a deep alteration in their form, character and significance. First of all, original moralités are in verses, whereas Collodi translates them in prose. Moreover, the author sometimes decides not to translate a part of the original text (this usually happens when Perrault’s tales are closed by more than one moral) or adds a new sentence to it. Lastly, what is crucial to underline is that Collodi’s inclination to irony and sarcasm causes the reshaping and reduction of the composed and stiff moralism of French Contes.

  • 38 Bonanni (2013), p. 112.
  • 39 Ibid., p. 117.
  • 40 Ibid.

33Con questa riconfigurazione della morale, è l’intero racconto a riassestarsi in una struttura diversa, […] in un nuovo tipo di fiaba italiana38 (through this reconfiguration of the moral, the whole tale takes on a different structure, becoming a new kind of Italian fable). The expedient Collodi employs to transmit the moral message of the fables to his readers is essential. It is not the narrator who enunciates the morals. It is the characters who tell the readers what they have learnt from their experience. Otherwise, morals are given as proverbial sentences, in the form of emanation of popular wisdom, and collective values. In this way, the narrator is unburdened by the unpleasant role of moralising teacher, very common in the rest of childhood literature of the time. On the contrary, Collodi had the intelligence to understand that to reach his public (that is, the children, and especially the naughtiest ones) he had to become “complice del giovane lettore e suo alleato contro la pedanteria dei pedagoghi39 (accomplice of the young reader and his allied against pedantry of pedagogues). One more time, Collodi individuates the language as the means for gaining children’s trust: Collodi adopts their “stile comunicativo ludico, scherzoso, canzonatorio40 (playful, mocking way of communication).

34The moral of Le Maître chat ou Le Chat botté / Il Gatto con gli stivali constitutes a fine specimen thereof:

Moralité
Quelque grand soit l’avantage
De jouir d’un riche héritage
Venant à nous de père en fils,
Aux jeunes gens pour l’ordinaire,
L’industrie et le savoir-faire
Valent mieux que des biens acquis.

Autre Moralité
Si le fils d’un Meunier, avec tant de vitesse,
Gagne le cæur d’une Princesse,
Et s’en fait regarder avec des yeux
mourants,
C’est que l’habit, la mine et la jeunesse,
Pour inspirer de la tendresse,
N’en sont pas des moyens toujours
indifférents.

Godersi in pace una ricca eredità, passata di padre in figlio, è sempre una bella cosa: ma per i giovani, l’industria, l’abilità e la svegliatezza d’ingegno valgono più d’ogni altra fortuna ereditata.

Da questo lato, la storia del gatto del signor marchese di Carabà è molto istruttiva, segnatamente per i gatti e per i marchesi di Carabà.

35Collodi chooses to translate only one of the two morals of the French text, furthermore providing it with another conclusion. This way, the closing sentence overturns the sense of Perrault’s moralistic construction, empting his seriousness out through irony. Indeed, the reference to the characters of the Cat and the marquis of Carabas appears a cheerful prank shared with the reader. However, at a deeper level, this device also reveals a trace of pessimism and disillusion behind the apparent levity: Collodi’s moral seems to mean that the lesson of the fable is actually not valuable in real life. This melancholy, which may be recognised in Pinocchio as well, has been pinpointed by Paolini (1976) and Asor Rosa (1997) as the other side of coin of Collodi’s humour and brightness. It represents an important constituent of Collodi’s writing style, because it highlights the latent complexity of these fables. Even more so for Pinocchio, which certainly has to be considered more than a simple tale for children, since it is surely a real masterpiece of Italian literature.

2.5. The legacy of Perrault’s model

  • 41 I borrowed this expression from Sonzogni (2005).
  • 42 Pontiggia (1976), p. XIX.

36Since it is possible to recognise in every translation a relationship of mutual debts and gifts41 between the original and the metatext, it can be observed how even Collodi’s re-writing receives something from the original French texts, in spite of its above-mentioned freedom. Indeed, the contact with French fable writers “schiuse a Collodi il meraviglioso delle fate42 (disclosed to Collodi the wonderland of fairies), and he inherited from Perrault a legacy of narrative structures and fairy‑tale elements.

  • 43 Asor Rosa (1997).
  • 44 Marcheschi (1995), pp. XLVI-LI.

37The genre of the fable was suitable for the moralising spirit of the Italian 19th century43 as well as for Collodi’s “slancio etico autentico44 (authentic ethical impulse). Fairy tales allowed Collodi to distance himself from the socio-politic situation that disappointed him so much, and to contribute to the edification of new Italian citizens.

  • 45 Pizzoli (1998). And also Beccaria (1989).

38Beyond the moralistic subject, French fables gave Collodi all the fairy-tale structures and narrative formulas he employed: diminutive and augmentative forms, repetition of sentences or situations, unspecified geographical and temporal indications, forms of spoken language (as addresses to the hearers, deictic elements, proverbs, etc.).45

  • 46 Conti (2015), pp. 11-18, Prefazione, in Bouchard (ed., 2015).
  • 47 Tempesti (1972).

39Furthermore, Collodi brought many characters out of fables’ boundaries, giving them life in his major works in a continuous process of transformation and re-writing. The figure of the ogre is clearly noticeable in Mangiafuoco in Pinocchio, and then in Golasecca in Storie allegre.46 Likewise, Pinocchio’s Fata turchina manifestly draws her origins from the fairies of the fables. Pinocchio, the protagonist of Collodi’s great fable, is himself a fabulous character, even though he reveals to be a close relative of popular theatre.47

40Therefore, even if Perrault does not represent a model for Collodi’s linguistic choices, he is the Italian author’s doorway towards the world of fable. From this translation experience Collodi gains many narrative situations, fabulous characters, and specific narrative structures and forms which were almost absent from Italian childhood literature. Incorporating them into his writing, Collodi imported them into the whole Italian tradition as well.

3. The language of I Racconti delle fate

41Section 2 pointed out how Collodi’s translation entails both acquaintance with the other and attainment of self-awareness. Indeed, thanks to this translation, Perrault’s fables become part of Collodi’s own narrative production and of Italy’s literary and cultural tradition. On the other hand, while transposing French texts into a new context, he transforms them into “pezzi di racconti italiani, o addirittura toscani”. In Collodi’s eyes, translation becomes an opportunity for an original rewriting and for the elaboration of his narrative language. To offer his public a lively means of communication and to support the diffusion of Italian language is the first aim of the writer and his editor. Given that the greatness and the novelty of Collodi’s fables lies in their language, it is essential to proceed with the analysis of these texts.

3.1. Textual analysis

3.1.1. Perrault’s language and style

  • 48 Bouchard (ed., 2015). Editors of Edizione Nazionale agreed with the hypothesis firstly made by Bona (...)

42An analysis of the language of a translation requires comparing and contrasting the translation itself with the original text, in order to pinpoint the original peculiarity of the metatext. The first step to mark aiming to analyse Collodi’s Racconti delle fate is a brief description of French original text. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate which specific edition of Perrault’s fairy tales Collodi translated. The recent hypothesis of the editors of the Edizione Nazionale48 is that Collodi translated the Contes de fées tirés de Claude [sic] Perrault, de Mme d’Aulnoy et de Mme Leprince de Beaumont, published by Hachette in 1853 and reprinted several times. Indeed, I Racconti delle fate displays the same selection of fables of this collection, excluding Les fées but adding of the apocryphal version in prose of Peau d’Âne. If this hypothesis is correct, Collodi did not translate the original Perrault’s texts. In any event, differences between the perraultian text and the Hachette edition seem to be as irrelevant as they could be disregarded here, since the original language and style are not altered in depth.

  • 49 Jasmin (2004), p. 17.

43The main characteristic of Perrault’s writing style is its “simplicité qui est le fruit de l’art, une naïveté sciemment recherchée”,49 its programmatic aim to reproduce the “voix des nourrices” and the oral narration. For this reason, the vocabulary is simple, common, almost poor in some loci, as well as the syntax, similarly, is linear and paratactic.

3.1.2. Collodi’s language and style

  • 50 For the French text: Perrault (1981). For the Italian text see note 31.
  • 51 Fanfani (1863); Rigutini & Fanfani (1875).

44Paolini (1976) gave a truly fitting definition to Collodi’s translation, that is, “carattere di reinvenzione parlata del testo” (spoken reinvention of the text). Accordingly, Collodi re-wrote French fables in a simple but lively and extraordinarily expressive language, derived from spoken Tuscan‑Florentine. In this section, I will present and describe the main peculiarities of Collodi’s translation style, providing some of the most explanatory examples taken from Cappuccetto Rosso and Il Gatto con gli stivali.50 For the textual analysis, I will use the dictionaries of spoken language of Fanfani and Rigutini‑Fanfani.51

45A good starting point consists in recognising the colloquial nature of Collodi’s prose, which derives from the spoken language both terms and syntactic structures. As mentioned above, Collodi was conscious of the scholastic destination of his work and therefore careful not to break grammatical norms. Consequently, the author reached that spoken reinvention of the language he was aiming at by working on less codified areas of language, namely lexicon and syntax.

46For instance, here are some lexical colloquialisms. The first one is from Il Gatto con gli stivali:

(1) Après avoir bu cinq ou six coups > Dopo aver vuotato quattro o cinque bicchieri.

  • 52 Rigutini-Fanfani, Vuotare: “Vuotare un fiasco, una bottiglia, ec., dicesi familiarm. per Bevere il (...)

47Rigutini-Fanfani (1875) noticed that the verb “vuotare” (to empty) has a familiar usage in the spoken language, in which case it means “bere” (to drink).52

48When it comes to the syntactic features, here are three examples taken respectively from Cappuccetto rosso (2, 3) and from Il Gatto con gli stivali (4):

(2) Je vais voir ma Mère-grand, et lui porter une galette avec un petit pot de beurre que ma Mère lui envoie > Vo a vedere la mia nonna e a portarle una stiacciata, con questo vasetto di burro, che le manda la mamma mia.

(3) Que vous avez de grands bras > Che braccia grandi che avete.

(4) C’est un pré qui ne manque point de rapporter abondamment toutes les années > Questa è una prateria, che non c’è anno, che non mi dia una raccolta abbondantissima.

  • 53 See Renzi, Salvi & Cardinaletti (2001), pp. 141-142.
  • 54 See the example “maledetto il giorno che ti ho incontrato” analysed in Simone (ed., 2010).

49In (2), the usual possessive-noun order is inverted, implying an affective value as a consequence. In (3), che is situated at the beginning of the sentence with the noun phrase (braccia grandi), and it has the function of introducing an exclamatory clause.53 More complex is case (4). Here, the first che can be analysed as a relative subject pronoun (employed in place of la quale). The second che, instead, can be referred to anno, having the role of indirect relative pronoun (corresponding to in cui).54 Both cases are representative of syntactic constructions typical of the spoken language.

50Another peculiarity that can be included in the number of colloquialisms of Collodi’s writing style is the employment of idiomatic expressions. However, considering the paramount importance they have in the construction of the Italian language, which is a core topic of this paper, I will dedicate to them a specific paragraph (section 3.3). In this section, I will consider the idiomatic expressions as the result of many tendencies of Collodi’s stylistic research instead. Collodi’s writing style always tends, on the one hand, to amplification and emphasis, on the other—and at the same time to originality and diversification of expressions.

  • 55 Paolini (1976). On the role of consecutive clauses see also Pizzoli (1998), pp. 171-172.

51Emphasis and overstatement are characteristics of the genre of fable at large. Nevertheless, Collodi stresses their significance until they become a clear mark of the distance between Perrault’s texts and the Italian ones, a feature of Collodi’s personal style. Emphasis is obtained through many different ways as, for instance, superlative forms, duplications, idiomatic expressions, relative, comparative and especially consecutive clauses.55 One of the best examples can be found in Il gatto con gli stivali:

(5) On m’a assuré encore, dit le Chat, mais je ne saurais le croire, que vous aviez aussi le pouvoir de prendre la forme des plus petits Animaux > — Mi hanno per di più assicurato, — disse il gatto, — ma questa mi par troppo grossa e non la posso bere che voi avete anche la virtù di prendere la forma dei più piccoli animali.

  • 56 Rigutini-Fanfani, Grosso: “Ditela grossa, o più grossa diciamo a uno che ha pronunziato uno spropos (...)

52It can be observed that Collodi employs two idiomatic expressions to translate a simple French sentence, exaggerating the power of the exclamation of the Puss. Both expressions are recorded in the dictionaries: “dirle grosse” (to say big things), with the meaning of saying overstated things, and “bersi una cosa” (to drink something), which signifies to naively believe something.56 Besides the above‑mentioned function of common sayings, the process of duplication is also worth noting, as it is frequently used by the author with an emphasising value. Other examples of this method are, in the same fable:

(6) Un jeune étourdi de lapin > Un coniglio, giovane d’anni e di giudizio.

(7) Le prit et le tua sans miséricorde > Lo prese e l’uccise senza pietà né misericordia.

53In both cases (6) and (7) there is no reason for such a loose translation except for the will of stressing and amplifying the original sense of the text. Again, in Il gatto con gli stivali, it is important to also point out:

(8) Je tiens cela tout à fait impossible > Mi paiono sogni dell’altro mondo.

(9) Le drôle les avait cachés sous une grosse pierre > Il furbo trincato aveva nascosto i panni sotto un pietrone.

  • 57 Fanfani, Sogno: “Sogno si dice anche per Immaginazione vana di cose impossibili, o credute tali”.
  • 58 Fanfani, Trincato: “Scaltrito, Astuto”. Rigutini-Fanfani, Trincare, past participle Trincato: “Furb (...)

54The common adjectives of the French text are translated through spoken and idiomatic expressions taken from colloquial language. The saying employed in (8) is not reported in this form on the dictionaries, even if “sogno” (dream) also has the subsense of imagination of impossible things to happen.57 Conversely, “furbo trincato” is recorded in both dictionaries as a superlative form of cunning.58 Example (9) is representative of the tendency to expressive originality as well. While “drôle” is a very common adjective in French, the corresponding Tuscan form (“furbo trincato”) is a remarkably connotative and lively expression. As these examples clearly show, Collodi always converts the usual, denotative and repetitive vocabulary of Perrault into manifold and always varying expressions collected from spoken language. In Cappuccetto rosso we find:

(10) Le petit chaperon rouge partit aussitôt pour aller chez sa mère‑grand > Cappuccetto Rosso, senza farselo dire due volte, partì per andare dalla sua nonna.

(11) Il y avait plus de trois jours qu’il n’avait mangé > Erano tre giorni che non s’era sdigiunato.

Ce méchant Loup se jeta sur le petit chaperon rouge, et la mangea > Quel malanno di Lupo si gettò sul povero Cappuccetto Rosso, e ne fece un boccone.

Similarly, in Il gatto con gli stivali:

(12) Le Chat ravi de voir que son dessein commençait à réussir > Il gatto, contentissimo di vedere che il suo disegno cominciava a pigliar colore.

(13) Le maître chat, qui allait toujours devant, rencontra des Moissonneurs > Il bravo gatto, che faceva sempre da battistrada, incontrò dei mietitori.

Le Chat, qui allait devant le Carrosse, disait toujours la même chose > Il gatto, che trottava sempre avanti la carrozza, ripeteva sempre le medesime cose.

  • 59 Fanfani, Sdigiunarsi: “Rompere il digiuno, Il primo mangiare che si fa nella giornata”. Rigutini-Fa (...)
  • 60 Rigutini-Fanfani, Battistrada: “Colui che a cavallo precede sulla strada, che un gran personaggio d (...)
  • 61 Both Rigutini-Fanfani and Fanfani, Malanno: “dicesi comunemente per uomo tristo, birbante, ec.”.

55Sentences (11) and (13) are examples of Collodi’s attempt to diversify his expressiveness. In both cases the prototext manifestly tends to employ a simple and elementary lexicon (manger, aller), repetitive always identical to itself. Both dictionaries record the verb “sdigiunarsi” with the meaning of getting sated59, whilst they do not show a trace of the expression “farne un boccone” (to devour in a single bite, rapidly and voraciously). The Rigutini-Fanfani dictionary, then, also illustrates that “battistrada” is a familiar variation for the word “guida” (guide).60 In addition, beyond the translation of the verb, in (11) the choice of an idiomatic expression (“malanno”) rather than the simple adjective méchant61 is also interesting.

  • 62 Rigutini-Fanfani, Colore: “Pigliare il colore si dice di cosa che facilmente si incorpora il colore (...)

56Sentences (10) and (12), on the other hand, exemplify the collodian pursuit of original and meaningful expressions, resulting in idiomatic forms. The expression “pigliare colore” (to get coloured) is expounded by Rigutini-Fanfani in its figurative connotation, indicating something that works out as planned.62 Conversely, “senza farselo dire due volte” (without the need to have it repeated twice) is not recorded by the dictionaries.

57Strictly related to the pursuit of effectiveness and expressiveness is the theatrical nature of Collodi’s writing style. Even though theatricality will fully be developed only in Pinocchio, it could be identified as a characteristic common to the whole of popular literature (and to the fable as well). Therefore, while translating the French tales, Collodi constantly endeavours to make the narration as concrete as possible, factual and near his readers. In other words, Collodi writes as if his readers were spectators. This means that he employs a series of methods to engage his readers in his stories. For instance, he adds spatial and temporal specifications, inserts deictic adverbs and pronouns, and substitutes indefinite articles with definitive ones or with demonstratives. In Cappuccetto rosso, for example:

(14) Porte-lui une galette et ce petit pot de beurre > Portale questa stiacciata e questo vasetto di burro.

(15) Dans la Forêt > nella foresta.

(16) Le Loup lui cria > Il Lupo gridò di dentro.

58In (14) Collodi replaces the indefinite article “une” with the demonstrative adjective “questa” (this), which takes on a deictic value. By the way, the choice of “stiacciata” (a sort of focaccia bread) for French “galette” is also noteworthy, since the former is clearly a Tuscan form. In (15) and (16), then, he inserts adverbs of place, utterly absent from the original text.

59Sometimes, the author replaces simple French verbs with Italian verbs that he considers more effective, for example phraseological ones.

(17) Vous verrez que vous n’êtes pas si mal partagé que vous croyez > E dopo vi farò vedere che nella parte che vi è toccata, non siete stato trattato tanto male quanto forse credete.

60Example (17), taken from Il gatto con gli stivali, seems critical in this perspective, since the choice of a verb with causative value changes also the syntactic structure of the sentence, rendering the Puss its grammatical subject. This contributes to underline the protagonist role of the cat which is central in the tale.

61In conclusion of this paragraph of linguistic analysis, it is important to point out how Collodi’s language is deeply characterised by its regional root. All the above-mentioned idiomatic expressions, taken from the spoken language, of course derive from the Tuscan-Florentine language. However, beyond these, there are many other Tuscan morphological, lexical and syntactic elements. In Cappuccetto rosso, for example:

(18) Le Loup se mit à courir > Il Lupo si messe a correre.

(19) En passant dans un bois elle rencontra compère le Loup > E passando per un bosco s’imbatté in quella buona lana del Lupo.

(20) La petite fille s’en alla par le chemin le plus long, s’amusant à cueillir des noisettes > La bambina se ne andò per la strada sua, che era la più lunga, baloccandosi a cogliere le nocciuole.

(21) C’est pour mieux t’embrasser > Gli è per abbracciarti meglio.

C’est par delà le moulin que vous voyez tout là-bas, là-bas, à la première maison du Village > La sta laggiù, passato quel mulino, che si vede di qui, nella prima casa, al principio del villaggio.

Also in Il gatto con gli stivali:

(22) Quelque jeune lapin, peu instruit encore des ruses de ce monde > Qualche giovine coniglio, ancora novizio dei chiapperelli del mondo.

  • 63 Rigutini-Fanfani, Lana: “Lana, o Buona Lana, dicesi ironicam. a Persona trista e sottile” and simil (...)
  • 64 Rigutini-Fanfani, Gli: “sta spesso nel parlar familiare, come scorcio di Egli quando è come per rip (...)

62Sentence (18) is an example of a morphological form of spoken Tuscan, which prefers the past form “messe” to the Italian “mise”. Similarly, (19), (20) and (22) are examples of verbs taken from Tuscan language, all recorded in Rigutini and Fanfani dictionaries.63 Finally, in (21) one of the most peculiar syntactic features of spoken Tuscan is displayed, that is, the employment of the apheretic forms of the personal pronouns both male and female—ith introductive and pleonastic value. Even the dictionaries record this peculiar use of the personal pronoun, attributing it to Tuscan and especially Florentine usage and asserting that it gives elegance to the speech.64

63Despite the Tuscan nature of Collodi’s language, it is essential to underline that he avoided excessively vernacular forms in his writing, disapproving the too extreme choices of Manzoni’s followers. Ornella Castellani Pollidori (1983, p. 65) has defined Collodi’s language as “un esemplare spaccato del fiorentino vivo di tono medio d’un secolo fa” (an exact specimen of medium-toned spoken Florentine of the last century). “Tono medio” means that even though the author draws his language directly from speech, he never adopts humble or vernacular forms, just as he never inserts erudite or refined terms.

64Moreover, some idiomatic expressions found in Collodi’s translations are not recorded in the dictionaries of spoken Tuscan language. In some cases, dictionaries show slightly different forms, so that it is easy to imagine that even Collodi’s expressions should have been perfectly comprehensible to his readers. Both these circumstances seem to prove that Collodi did not use dictionaries for his translation. His direct source was the spoken Florentine language.

65In addition, it is possible to find in Collodi’s tales some forms that seem surprising, since they belong to a higher stylistic register or they contradict Manzoni’s norms. For instance, some forms with diphthong (as figliuoli or giuochi, instead of figlioli and giochi, in Il gatto con gli stivali), or the pronoun egli instead of lui. Since Manzoni had established exactly the contrary, these examples are to be intended as a proof of Collodi’s intentional disregard of grammatical norms and extreme strictness of some Manzoni’s followers.

66For all these reason, Tempesti (1988) defined Collodi “manzoniano di sorgiva”, signifying that he happened to be in the wake of Manzoni’s linguistic standardisation for nature, and not for observance of his norms. However, Stella (1999) noticed the “quasi perfetta sovrapponibilità” (almost total overlapping) of Pinocchio’s language and the language of the Novo vocabolario, which embodied ministerial and Manzoni’s directives.

67Considering all these data (included observations made in 2.2), it is possible to conclude that Collodi’s linguistic choice is not only completely aware of the Italian situation and Manzoni’s solutions, but also consistent with them and their purposes. Collodi plays an active part in the formation and diffusion of the Italian national language, along with contemporary efforts by Manzoni and Verga. Nevertheless, he opposes blind observance of grammatical norms and excessively vernacular Florentine forms. In this light, his linguistic choice appears to be truly functional, moderate and rationale, without losing its freshness and spontaneousness.

3.2. Comparison with Cesare Donati

68In 1867, in Florence, the publisher Jouhaud printed a collection of fables titled I Racconti delle fate, translated from French by Cesare Donati. This collection presents exactly the same selection of fables of Perrault, Madame d’Aulnoy and Madame Leprince the Beaumont translated in 1875 by Collodi. Moreover, it also reproduces the Préface and the same iconographical apparatus of the Hachette edition of 1866. Therefore, it is likely that Donati and Collodi used the same French edition for their translations.

69Because of the close relation between these two translations, separated only by eight years, Tempesti (1988) recognised “un caso di pirateria editoriale vecchio di più di cent’anni” (a case of editorial piracy older than a hundred years): same choice of title, authors, and texts. However, the great significance of this correspondence between the two collections resides in their difference, and their difference resides in the language.

  • 65 For Donati’s text I referred to Perrault & D’Aulnoy (1915).
  • 66 Even the titles of the fables deserve interest because of their great difference from the Collodian (...)

70In order to display this dissimilarity, I will now present some of the same sentences given above (section 3.1.2) with the corresponding translation of Donati.65 I will employ the same enumeration of the corresponding examples above to cast light on the comparison. In Berrettina rossa66, for instance:

(10) Le petit chaperon rouge partit aussitôt pour aller chez sa mère-grand > Berrettina rossa andò subito dalla nonna.

(11) Il y avait plus de trois jours qu’il n’avait mangé > Eran più di tre giorni che non aveva mangiato.

Ce méchant Loup se jeta sur le petit chaperon rouge, et la mangea > Il perfido lupo si gettò su Berrettina rossa e la divorò.

(20) La petite fille s’en alla par le chemin le plus long, s’amusant à cueillir des noisettes […] > Laß ragazzina prese la più lunga, sollazzandosi in raccogliere nocciuole […].

(3) Que vous avez de grands bras > Che braccia lunghe vo’ avete.

Then, in Il gatto stivalato:

(22) Quelque jeune lapin, peu instruit encore des ruses de ce monde > Qualche giovine coniglio, poco esperto delle astuzie di questo mondo.

(6) Un jeune étourdi de lapin > Uno stordito di coniglio.

(7) Le prit et le tua sans miséricorde > Lo prese e l’uccise senza misericordia.

(9) Le drôle les avait cachés sous une grosse pierre > Il furbo aveva nascosto i vestiti sotto un grosso pietrone.

(12) Le Chat ravi de voir que son dessein commençait à réussir > Il gatto, lietissimo in vedere che il suo disegno cominciava a riuscire.

(1) Après avoir bu cinq ou six coups > Dopo aver bevuto cinque o sei volte.

(5) On m’a assuré encore, dit le Chat, mais je ne saurais le croire, que vous aviez aussi le pouvoir de prendre la forme des plus petits Animaux > — Mi hanno ancora voluto far credere — soggiunse il gatto — ma io non me ne persuado, che abbiate pure il potere di prendere la forma dei più piccoli animali.

(8) Je tiens cela tout à fait impossible > ciò mi pare del tutto impossibile.

71Comparing these sentences to the corresponding in section 3.1.2, two things are immediately evident. Firstly, Donati’s translation is closer and more faithful to the French text. Secondly, the liveliness, spontaneity, and colloquial nature of Collodi’s translation are absent in Donati’s fables. The two translators show to view the purposes and methods of translation on the one hand, and the language needed for Italian narrative on the other, in a radically different way. Subjugated by Perrault’s authority, Donati flattens his French into the inexpressive Italian of a “service translation”. On the contrary, Collodi gives birth to an original text in a connotative language which finds its guarantee in the spoken use.

  • 67 Tempesti (1988), p. 57.

72Cesare Donati (1826-1913) was a cultured man, a functionary for the Ministry of Education, a journalist for many literary and politics periodicals. He was a professional translator, and for this reason his translation is faithful, literal, and grammatically correct. Contrarily, Collodi was a writer of less regular texts, and he did not concern himself with translation rules. He paid attention to the “concretezza di un sistema linguistico reale, nella sua completezza, che ‘legge addosso’ ai suoi lettori67 (concreteness of a real linguistic system which he “reads on” his readers). In other words, it is possible to assert that Donati “translates” French fables in the etymological sense of the verb, meaning that he transfers the original texts in another language. In doing this, he remains hidden behind the text, or—better—out of it. Conversely, Collodi enters the text and “rewrites” it from the inside, creating new fables of which he can be named the author.

  • 68 Tempesti (1994), pp. 221-230.
  • 69 This issue has been highlighted also by Bruni (1999).

73The choice of such different languages made by two contemporaries aiming to the same purpose seems to reveal something very important about the linguistic situation they were living in. Collodi and Donati represent “due realtà e due culture diverse, […] non solo compresenti, ma comunicanti fra loro68 (two different cultures which were not only coexistent but also inter-communicating). In the Italian prose of the 19th century as well as in Italian dictionaries, two Florentine languages coexisted: the living, spoken Florentine and the archaic, literary Florentine.69 Also Manzoni, in his report Dell’unità della lingua e dei mezzi per diffonderla (1868), showed to be aware of this split in the linguistic reality of new‑born Italy and pinpointed the need for a new dictionary, representing the living language of spoken use.

3.3. Idiomatic expressions as core feature of Collodi’s writing style

74In the report Dell’unità della lingua e dei mezzi per diffonderla, Manzoni asserted that the only language able to fulfil the everyday needs of communication of a nation was the living language of the spoken use. Among the exceptionally diversified Italian dialects and varieties, he identified the Florentine as the most suitable for becoming the national language, because of its historical value for the Italian literature. For this reason, Manzoni supported the need for a dictionary of the living Florentine able to spread the language throughout the Italian peninsula, as the dictionary of French Academy did for France.

  • 70 Polimeni (2016).
  • 71 Manzoni (1868), p. 66.

75In other words, Manzoni’s solution proposed a sort of covenant, an agreement between Italian people, aimed at substituting a sole common language to the plurality of regional varieties. Only the sharing of this unique language could grant citizens the opportunity to communicate and understand each other. Moreover, behind this idea of the common language as the result of an agreement between the speakers, the transposition of the Rousseauian principle of “social contract” into the linguistic field could be singled out.70 However, Manzoni seems to overtake the idea of the “contract” towards the idea of a democratic, consensual agreement. He affirms that “si tratta di somministrare un mezzo, e non d’imporre una legge71, which means that his proposal is offered as a possible solution, and not imposed as a strict law.

  • 72 Conscious of the vagueness of term “locuzioni”, Manzoni explains: “Nel termine generico poi di locu (...)

76Besides the concept of the language as a means of expression and communication consensually accepted, it is also essential to highlight the role Manzoni attributed to the “locuzioni” (locutions, idiomatic expressions)72 in a living language. Indeed, the shared usage of a repertoire of idiomatic expressions is an essential characteristic of a language which aims to be alive and functional. For this reason, Manzoni underlined that his dictionary should have registered the highest number of locutions possible.

77Transferring these considerations to I Racconti delle fate, the crucial role played by locutions in Collodi’s construction of a lively language becomes evident. As mentioned above, idiomatic expressions truly represent the most emblematic feature of Collodi’s writing style. Through locutions, Collodi both immerses his fables in a language intended as an agreement between the speakers and works to build this language up. He endeavours on the one hand to employ a language that is clear and comprehensible to his readers, and on the other to provide them with an efficient language for their new expressive and communicative needs.

78In this perspective, the distance between Collodi and Donati becomes even more striking. The two translations are different precisely as their purposes are, and idiomatic expressions truly help to cast light on this difference. Indeed, by observing the examples displayed in 3.2, one may notice that in most cases Donati translated in a literary, denotative language, whilst Collodi strove for employing always lively and idiomatic expressions.

79Bruni (1999) highlighted how locutions themselves are the bedrock of contemporary writing languages of Manzoni and Verga as well. This means that Collodi, Manzoni, and Verga all took part in a common effort for the construction of a basic Italian language suitable for a new Italian narrative, pursued primarily through locutions and idiomatic expressions.

80For this reason, idiomatic expressions are also the most evident sign of the great influence of Collodi’s works on the formation of Italian language. Crucially, Pizzoli (1998) analysed Collodi’s language pointing out the contribution of Pinocchio to Italian phraseology. She recognised Collodi’s work on less regulated sectors of the language, that is, syntax, lexicon and especially idiomatic expressions. She individuated 350 locutions in Pinocchio, mostly taken from living spoken Tuscan. Then, she verified that approximately 240 of them are still widely used in contemporary Italian. Even excluding locutions with a previous literary tradition, and therefore diffused in other authors’ works (for instance, Manzoni himself), there is still a considerable number of expressions that, according to Lucilla Pizzoli, are very likely to have been imported in Italian primarily thanks to Pinocchio.

81In the light of these observations, it becomes even more evident that Collodi’s effort is directly aimed at the construction of a national language, particularly with Pinocchio, his mature masterpiece. In this perspective, I Racconti delle fate takes on a crucial role not only because it represents Collodi’s first approach to childhood literature, but mostly because the linguistic experimentation stimulated by the translation experience founds the basis for Pinocchio’s language. Even though it is important to also consider all the other experiences of Collodi’s career (section 2.2), I think that Pinocchio’s language and style significantly ripen through these fables. Accordingly, it is possible to verify that the most part of locutions, idiomatic expressions and Tuscan forms found in I Racconti delle fate systematically occurs in Pinocchio as well.

Conclusions

82The correspondence between the language of I Racconti delle fate and the one of Pinocchio supports the belief that this translating experience played a cardinal part in the construction of Collodi’s narrative language. Moreover, considering the great influence of Pinocchio in the formation of the Italian language, Collodi’s translation assumed a specific relevance for the historical, cultural, and linguistic situation of the Italian nation. Collodi intended his translation not as a restitution of the original text rendered as faithful as possible, but as a domestication of it, a rewriting directed to give birth to a new text, suitable for a new cultural, literary, and linguistic context. Through this recreation and this comparison with the French writer, Collodi was induced to reflect and become aware of his own language, ripening a new signification system, a new expressive instrument for his readers—citizens of the united Italy of the second half of the 19th century.

83In conclusion, I believe that Collodi-translator had a pivotal role in the development of the Italian language of spoken use. Therefore, in this paper I endeavoured to prove why and how I Racconti delle fate can be emblematic of one of the fundamental issues about translation: the translators’ responsibility in influencing and affecting the language of usage and everyday communication, all the more during periods of deep socio-cultural changes.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Asor Rosa, Alberto (1997), “Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino”, in Genus Italicum. Saggi sull’identità letteraria italiana nel tempo, Torino: Einaudi, pp. 551-617.

Bachtin, Michail Michajlovič (1937-1973), “Formy vremeni i hronotopa v romane. Očerki po istoričeskoj poètike”, in Epos i roman, Sankt-Peterburg: Akademija, 2000; Italian translation: “Le forme del tempo e del cronotopo nel romanzo. Saggi di poetica storica”, in Estetica e romanzo, Torino: Einaudi, 1979.

Barthes, Roland (1970), S/Z, Paris: Ed. du Seuil; Italian translation S/Z, Torino: Einaudi, 1972.

Beccaria, Gian Luigi (1989), “La variazione dell’identico: elogio della fiaba”, in Le forme della lontananza, Poesia del Novecento, romanzo, fiaba, canto: le strutture “forti” della letteratura colta e popolare, Milano: Garzanti, pp. 285-332.

Berman, Antoine (1984), L’Épreuve de l’étranger. Culture et traduction dans l’Allemagne romantique, Paris: Gallimard.

Bertacchini, Renato (1961), Collodi narratore, Pisa: Nistri-Lischi.

Bonanni, Veronica (2013), “I racconti delle fate. Collodi traduttore di Perrault, d’Aulnoy e Leprince de Beaumont”, Quaderno di italianistica, pp. 93-132.

Borutti, Silvana & Heidmann, Ute (2012), La Babele in cui viviamo. Traduzioni, riscritture, culture, Torino: Bollati Boringhieri.

Bouchard, François (ed., 2015), Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Carlo Lorenzini, v. IV: Carlo Collodi, I racconti delle fate, Storie allegre, Pescia-Firenze: Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi-Giunti.

Bruni, Francesco (1999), “Cenni biografici su alcune locuzioni nella narrativa ottocentesca”, in Prosa e narrativa dell’Ottocento, Firenze: Cesati, pp. 103-135.

Catricalà, Maria (1994), “La Grammatica di Giannettino: tra norme e usi linguistici dell’Italia postunitaria”, in Tempesti (ed.), Scrittura dell’uso al tempo del Collodi. Atti del Convegno del 3-4 maggio 1990, Firenze-Pescia: La Nuova Italia-Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi, pp. 83-94.

Castellani, Arrigo (1982), “Quanti erano gli italofoni nel 1861?”, Studi linguistici italiani, 8, pp. 3-26.

Castellani Pollidori, Ornella (1983), “Introduzione a C. Collodi”, in Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, critical edition by Ornella Castellani Pollidori, Pescia: Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi.

Collodi, Carlo (1854), “I traduttori e le traduzioni”, in Lo Scaramuccia, 15th of August.

Collodi, Carlo (1892), I Racconti delle fate, Firenze: Bemporad.

Collodi, Carlo (1893), Note Gaie, collected by Giuseppe Rigutini, Firenze: Bemporad.

Corti, Maria (1976), Principi della comunicazione letteraria, Milano: Bompiani.

De Mauro, Tullio (1963), Storia linguistica dell’Italia unita, Bari: Laterza.

Eco, Umberto (1975), Trattato di semiotica generale, Milano: Bompiani.

Eco, Umberto (1979), Lector in fabula, Milano: Bompiani.

Fanfani, Pietro (1863), Vocabolario dell’uso toscano, Firenze: Barbera.

Ferrari-Bravo, Donatella (1975), “Sistemi secondari di modellizzazione”, in Lotman & Uspenskij, Semiotica e cultura, Milano-Napoli: Ricciardi.

Gramsci, Antonio (1948-1951), Quaderni del carcere, critical edition by Valentino Gerratana, Torino: Einaudi, 1977.

Heidmann, Ute (2010), “Genres et textes en dialogue”, in Heidmann & Adam, Textualité et intertextualité des contes. Perrault, Apulée, La Fontaine, L’héritier…, Paris: Garnier, pp. 33-80.

Humboldt, Wilhem von (1836), Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluss auf die geistige Entwickelung des Menschengeschlechts, Berlin: Dümmler; Italian trans. La diversità delle lingue, Di Cesare (ed.), Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2004.

Jasmin, Nadine (2004), “ Introduction ”, in Perrault, Contes en prose, édition critique de Nadine Jasmin, Paris: Le livre de poche.

Lotman, Jurij Michajlovič & Uspenskij, Boris Andreevič (1975), Semiotica e cultura, Milano-Napoli: Ricciardi.

Manzoni, Alessandro (1868), “Dell’unità della lingua e dei mezzi di diffonderla. Relazione al Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione”, in Stella & Vitale (eds.), Scritti linguistici editi, Milano: Centro Nazionale Studi Manzoniani, 2000.

Marazzini, Claudio (2011), “La questione della lingua. Manzoni e la scelta del fiorentino”, in Pizzoli (ed.), La lingua italiana negli anni dell’Unità, Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale.

Marcheschi, Daniela (1995), “Introduzione”, in Collodi, Opere, Milano: Mondadori.

Mukařovskí, Jan (1966), Studie z estetiky, Praha: Odeon; Italian translation: Il significato dell’estetica, Torino: Einaudi, 1973.

Paolini, Paolo (1976), “Collodi traduttore di Perrault”, in Studi Collodiani. Atti del I Convegno internazionale (Pescia, 5-7 ottobre 1974), Pescia, Fondazione Nazionale “Carlo Collodi” — Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia, pp. 445-467.

Perrault, Charles & D’aulnoy, Marie-Catherine (1915), Racconti di fate, Italian translation by Cesare Donati, illustrations by A. Vaccari, Torino: Paravia.

Perrault, Charles (1981), Contes, édition critique de Jean-Pierre Collinet, Paris: Gallimard, Folio Classique.

Pizzoli, Lucilla (1998), “Sul contributo di Pinocchio alla fraseologia italiana”, Studi linguistici italiani, XXIV, pp. 167-209.

Pizzoli, Lucilla (ed., 2011), La lingua italiana negli anni dell’Unità, Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale.

Polimeni, Giuseppe (2011), La similitudine perfetta. La prosa di Manzoni nella scuola italiana dell’Ottocento, Milano: FrancoAngeli.

Polimeni, Giuseppe (2012), Una di lingua, una di scuola. Imparare l’italiano dopo l’Unità. Testi, autori, documenti, Milano: FrancoAngeli.

Polimeni, Giuseppe (2016), “‘Si tratta di somministrare un mezzo, e non d’imporre una legge’. Appunti sul tema dell’accordo linguistico nella Relazione di Alessandro Manzoni al ministro Broglio”, in Polimeni & Pierno (eds.), L’italiano alla prova. Lingua e cultura linguistica dopo l’Unità, Firenze: Franco Cesati Editore, pp. 13-21.

Pontiggia, Giuseppe (1976), “Prefazione”, in Collodi, I Racconti delle fate, Milano: Adelphi.

Renzi, Lorenzo, Salvi, Giampaolo & Cardinaletti, Anna (eds., 2011), Grande grammatica italiana di consultazione, volume III: Tipi di frase, deissi, formazione delle parole, Bologna: Il Mulino.

Rigutini, Giuseppe & Fanfani, Pietro (1875), Vocabolario italiano della lingua parlata, Firenze: Tipografia Cenniniana.

Rigutini, Giuseppe (ed., 1892), Divagazioni critico-umoristiche, Firenze: Bemporad.

Schleiermacher, Friedrich (1813), “Über die verschiedenen Methoden des Übersetzens”, in Sämtliche Werke, Berlin: Reimer, 1838; Italian trans., “Sui diversi metodi del tradurre”, in Etica ed ermeneutica, Bibliopolis: Napoli, 1985, pp. 83-120.

Segre, Cesare (1974), Le strutture e il tempo, Torino: Einaudi.

Serianni, Luca (1990), Storia della lingua italiana: Il secondo Ottocento, Bologna: Il Mulino.

Serianni, Luca(2013), Storia dell’italiano nell’Ottocento, Bologna: Il Mulino.

Simone, Raffaele (ed., 2010), Enciclopedia dell’italiano, v. 1, Roma: Istituto dell’Enciclopedia italiana, Treccani.

Sonzogni, Marco (2005), “Debiti e doni della traduzione poetica: Montale tra T.S. Eliot e Samuel Beckett. Appunti su Montale traduttore e tradotto”, The Italianist, 25, pp. 173-207.

Stella, Angelo (1999), “Lettura manzoniana di Pinocchio”, in Il piano di Lucia. Manzoni e altre voci lombarde, Firenze: Cesati.

Stella, Angelo & Vitale, Maurizio (eds., 2000), Scritti linguistici editi, Milano: Centro Nazionale Studi Manzoniani.

Tempesti, Ferdinando (1972), “Chi era Collodi. Com’è fatto Pinocchio”, in Collodi, Pinocchio, Milano: Feltrinelli.

Tempesti, Ferdinando (1988), Collodiana, Firenze: Salani.

Tempesti, Ferdinando (ed., 1994), Scrittura dell’uso al tempo del Collodi. Atti del Convegno del 3-4 maggio 1990, Firenze-Pescia: La Nuova Italia-Fondazione Nazionale Carlo Collodi.

Terracini, Benvenuto (1996), Conflitti di lingue e di culture, Torino: Einaudi.

Trifone, Pietro (1999), “Una lingua per l’Italia unita”, in Malato (ed.), Storia della letteratura italiana, vol.VIII: Tra l’Otto e il Novecento, Roma: Salerno Editrice, pp. 221-261.

Venuti, Lawrence (1995), The Translator‘s Invisibility: A History of Translation, London & New York: Routledge.

Haut de page

Notes

1 Borutti & Heidmann (2012), p. 86.

2 The English translations of all Italian citations are in brackets. All those are personal translations.

3 Borutti & Heidmann (2012), pp. 84-107.

4 Schleiermacher (1813).

5 Humboldt (1836).

6 Borutti & Heidmann (2012), pp. 108-136.

7 Terracini (1996), pp. 63-86.

8 Despite the different historical origin of the terms “semiotics” and “semiology”, I will use them as equivalent in this paper.

9 Pizzoli (2011), p. 22.

10 (Ibid., p. 40).

11 According to De Mauro (1963), the percentage of Italian citizens speaking Italian was around the 2.5% only. Castellani (1982), instead, believes that Italian-speaking people were the 9.5%. I extract these data from Serianni (1990). See also the latest Serianni (2013).

12 Trifone (1999).

13 […] every time that the questione della lingua somehow emerges, it means that a series of different problems is arising, too: the formation or widening of the ruling class, the need to build stronger and closer relationships between the government and the masses, that is, reorganising the cultural hegemony.

14 Marazzini (2011), p. 72.

15 Eco (1975), p. 14.

16 Manzoni (1868).

17 Manzoni (1868), p. 53.

18 Polimeni (2012), p. 11.

19 Polimeni (2011), p. 24.

20 Polimeni (2012), p. 11.

21 Asor Rosa (1997), p. 555.

22 Catricalà (1994).

23 Bonanni (2013), p. 93.

24 Ferrari-Bravo (1975).

25 Corti (1976). See also Segre (1974).

26 About the concept of reading as a fundamental part of the generative process of the text see also Eco (1979).

27 Corti (1976), pp. 64-65.

28 Bachtin (1937-1973).

29 (Ibid., p. 400).

30 Castellani Pollidori (1983), p. LXV.

31 While translating the Racconti delle fate into Italian I endeavoured to remain faithful to the French texts as far as my abilities would allow me. Paraphrasing them seemed to me almost a sacrilege. However, here and there, I allowed myself some little variations, concerning both the vocabulary, the syntactic structure of the periods, and the idiomatic expressions. I wanted to point this out here at the beginning in order to avoid remarks, sudden reactions of astonishments, grammatical or lexical concerns. A sin confessed is half forgiven: let it be so.” Every citation from I Racconti delle fate has been taken from the third edition: Collodi, Carlo, I Racconti delle fate, Firenze: Bemporad, 1892.

32 In many occasions Collodi shows off his indifference to linguistic norms. In Una lettera al Fanfulla, last text of Note Gaie, Collodi writes: “Io non farò con lei una questione di Crusca: perché di crusca non me ne intendo: preferisco il fior di farina. Io sono uno che scrivo alla buona come parlo: vero è che, essendo toscano, sono condannato pur troppo a parlare come parlano i Toscani. Del resto il nascer toscano è una disgrazia che può accadere a tutti” (I won’t make this about the Crusca: I’m not an expert on bran, I prefer superfine flour [untranslatable word pun: in Italian, “Accademia della Crusca” literally means “Academy of the Bran”]. I write simply, the way I speak, although, since I am Tuscan, unfortunately I am condemned to speak as the Tuscans do. After all, being born a Tuscan is a misfortune that can happen to anybody) (Collodi, [1893], p. 290). Concerning Collodi’s ideas about translation, see the article he published the 15th of August 1854 on Lo Scaramuccia, now included in Rigutini (1892), pp. 219-224.

33 Bonanni (2013), p. 107.

34 Ibid., p. 110.

35 Bertacchini, (1961), pp. 161-206.

36 Ibid., p. 189.

37 Pontiggia (1976), p. XVII.

38 Bonanni (2013), p. 112.

39 Ibid., p. 117.

40 Ibid.

41 I borrowed this expression from Sonzogni (2005).

42 Pontiggia (1976), p. XIX.

43 Asor Rosa (1997).

44 Marcheschi (1995), pp. XLVI-LI.

45 Pizzoli (1998). And also Beccaria (1989).

46 Conti (2015), pp. 11-18, Prefazione, in Bouchard (ed., 2015).

47 Tempesti (1972).

48 Bouchard (ed., 2015). Editors of Edizione Nazionale agreed with the hypothesis firstly made by Bonanni (2013).

49 Jasmin (2004), p. 17.

50 For the French text: Perrault (1981). For the Italian text see note 31.

51 Fanfani (1863); Rigutini & Fanfani (1875).

52 Rigutini-Fanfani, Vuotare: “Vuotare un fiasco, una bottiglia, ec., dicesi familiarm. per Bevere il vino contenutovi”.

53 See Renzi, Salvi & Cardinaletti (2001), pp. 141-142.

54 See the example “maledetto il giorno che ti ho incontrato” analysed in Simone (ed., 2010).

55 Paolini (1976). On the role of consecutive clauses see also Pizzoli (1998), pp. 171-172.

56 Rigutini-Fanfani, Grosso: “Ditela grossa, o più grossa diciamo a uno che ha pronunziato uno sproposito”. Fanfani, Grosso: “Dirle grosse, Dir cose spropositate”.
Rigutini-Fanfani, Bere: “Bere o Bersi una cosa, Credere bonariamente, ancor che sia poco credibile (e così Darla a bere)”. Fanfani, Bere: “Dare a bere una cosa a uno, Fargliela credere, benché strana e non vera, giovandosi della sua balordaggine”.

57 Fanfani, Sogno: “Sogno si dice anche per Immaginazione vana di cose impossibili, o credute tali”.

58 Fanfani, Trincato: “Scaltrito, Astuto”. Rigutini-Fanfani, Trincare, past participle Trincato: “Furbo trincato, cioè furbo in estremo grado”.

59 Fanfani, Sdigiunarsi: “Rompere il digiuno, Il primo mangiare che si fa nella giornata”. Rigutini-Fanfani: “Pigliare qualche poco di cibo per far tacere il digiuno”.

60 Rigutini-Fanfani, Battistrada: “Colui che a cavallo precede sulla strada, che un gran personaggio deve fare, a fine di annunciarne l’arrivo o per altre occorrenze. Per estensione e in linguaggio famil. Guida, Conduttore”.

61 Both Rigutini-Fanfani and Fanfani, Malanno: “dicesi comunemente per uomo tristo, birbante, ec.”.

62 Rigutini-Fanfani, Colore: “Pigliare il colore si dice di cosa che facilmente si incorpora il colore che le si vuol dare; e fig. si dice di cosa e negozio che volga a maggior gravità, o pigli qualità così o così”.

63 Rigutini-Fanfani, Lana: “Lana, o Buona Lana, dicesi ironicam. a Persona trista e sottile” and similarly Fanfani, Lana: “Buona Lana o Lana fine, dicesi per ironia a uomo tristo e sottile”.
Rigutini-Fanfani, Baloccarsi: “Divertirsi con balocchi; o solamente Perdere il tempo”.
Rigutini-Fanfani, Chiapparello o Chiapperello: “Artifizio per lo più di parole per ingannare, o imbrogliare qualcuno” and Fanfani: “Dicesi comunemente a Pistoja per tranello, artifizio di parola per ingannare o acchiapparci altrui”.

64 Rigutini-Fanfani, Gli: “sta spesso nel parlar familiare, come scorcio di Egli quando è come per ripieno”; Fanfani, Gli: “aferesi di Egli, usato per proprietà di lingua e a maniera di ripieno”. Rigutini-Fanfani, La: “nel parlar familiare usasi anche per Ella; e al pl. Le per Elleno; ma spesso è per un cotal che dà vaghezza al parlare”; Fanfani, La: “alcuna volta si trova posta tal par. in forza di pron. ma quasi di soperchio e per vaghezza di parlare, anziché per bisogno di esprimere. […] Per Ella, a modo di ripieno di grazia, è sorella carnale di Gli per Egli, e si usa ne’ casi medesimi. I Fiorentini sono quegli che l’hanno in bocca più spesso degli altri; e in moltissimi casi dà assai grazia al discorso”.

65 For Donati’s text I referred to Perrault & D’Aulnoy (1915).

66 Even the titles of the fables deserve interest because of their great difference from the Collodian ones. Il gatto stivalato, for instance, shows the effort of the translator to remain close to the original text, reproducing in Italian the French past participle (botté). However, differently from Collodi’s Il gatto con gli stivali, Donati’s literal translation of Le Chat botté (i.e. Il gatto stivalato) results in an expression which is totally uncommon in Italian language.

67 Tempesti (1988), p. 57.

68 Tempesti (1994), pp. 221-230.

69 This issue has been highlighted also by Bruni (1999).

70 Polimeni (2016).

71 Manzoni (1868), p. 66.

72 Conscious of the vagueness of term “locuzioni”, Manzoni explains: “Nel termine generico poi di locuzioni, comprendiamo, non solo i vocaboli semplici, ma e le loro associazioni consacrate dall’uso, e quelle frasi, chiamate anche idiotismi, per lo più traslate, e spesso molto singolari, ma che dall’uso medesimo hanno acquistata tutta la pronta e sicura efficacia di significazioni proprie” (By the generic term “locutions”, we mean not only single words, but also their associations, legitimised by usage, and those sentences (also called idiomatic expressions) which usually have a figurative meaning and are quite peculiar, but have acquired through spoken usage the prompt and sure effectiveness of independent meaning) (Manzoni [1868], p. 57).

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Federica Massia, « The Literary Prestige of the Translated Text: Collodi’s Re-writing of Perrault’s Contes », Signata, 7 | 2016, 127-154.

Référence électronique

Federica Massia, « The Literary Prestige of the Translated Text: Collodi’s Re-writing of Perrault’s Contes », Signata [En ligne], 7 | 2016, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2017, consulté le 18 février 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/signata/1189 ; DOI : 10.4000/signata.1189

Haut de page

Auteur

Federica Massia

Federica Massia was born at Moncalieri (Torino) in 1992. Since 2011 she is studying at the University of Pavia, as a student of the Almo Collegio Borromeo. She graduated with honours in Modern Letters in 2014, with a thesis in History of the Italian language (supervisor: Giuseppe Polimeni), titled Verso Pinocchio: Collodi traduttore e le scelte linguistiche dei Racconti delle fate. From January to June 2015 she studied at the University of Leiden, as an Erasmus student. She is now doing her Master degree at Pavia in Modern Philology, ending in July 2016. At the moment, she is working on a thesis about the translation of Walt Whitman in Italy between 19th and 20th century, considering his influence on the development of Italian free verse (supervisor: Gianfranca Lavezzi). She is interested in history of the Italian language, Italian literature and philology, and translation studies.

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Signata - PULg

Haut de page
  • Logo Presses universiatires de Liège
  • Logo Université de Liège
  • OpenEdition Journals