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Dear Friends,

I thought I'd mention that Anny Ballardini wrote me and said:  "I mentioned you and your impressive work at a reading I had at the Diocesan Museum in Trient about a week ago on the occasion of an evening dedicated to Vittoria Colonna and women's poetry." She also invited me to contribute to a special issue of a online beautiful magazine of contemporary poetry, translations and reviews she will be editing:  Ekleksographia (http://ekleksographia.ahadadabooks.com/) .  Topics will include translations of poetry; reviews of translations; drama related to the act of trans/lating;  art work dedicated to the topic. As I have no new work and do not plan to translate poetry ever again, I have nothing for her, but I am so grateful to her for thinking of me. 

She actually put a biography of me on her site.  It includes links to my complete translations of the poetry of Vittoria Colonna and Veronica Gambara, the book-length biography I planned for Vittoria Colonna:

This is an image of a Madonna of Charity found in a church in Ischia; it is meant as an idealized portrait of Colonna. She liked to present heself as bountiful strong mother figure.

Anny also include a link to the portrait biography I of Veronica Gambara (which another biographer of her commended to me in a letter sent me by her son):

This is one of three illustrations in the 1759 edition of Gambara's poetry.  She liked to present herself as a widow after her husband's death; it protected her.

Her kind remembrance and invitation have cheered my spirits considerably tonight.

I have been reading Austen in French; I've read two different contemporary French translations of Sense and Sensibility (one for the Pleiade, Joubert, and the other for Christian Bourgeois) and Isabelle de Montolieu's (at long last in print and inexpensively), and last night began a comparison of Pride and Prejudice.  I've found an article on the history of French translation and could probably cobble together a brief article.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
Poets Corner, Ekleksographia
From Anny:

"Thank you very very much. Especially for your last mention. The Poets' Corner has been going through bad times, and it is very easy to get discouraged. It was supported by the Pedagogical Institute but two years ago they cut all finances. The webmaster and server: Vanni Barone together with Multimedia Project, decided to keep it alive for one year, waiting for the new director to take a decision. This year, the new director entered the office round spring. I talked to her several times and she is interested and she has been waiting for the server and webmaster to make an offer. The site is old and there are continuous glitches (believe it or not nobody in this moment can enter the site to work on it, all the passwords are blocked and we do not know how to reach the content). The idea is to renew it and we have to move about 4,000 pages. The webmaster has not sent in an offer up to now. I do not know why. If the webmaster said no, I would look somewhere else, maybe for a University or someone to take charge of the maintenance.

As you can see reality is always a burden of compromises and of patience. And that is why a sentence like yours gives me hope and strength to continue.

About Ekleksographia, you are not the only one asking for some time. I haven't decided a date yet, if you wish to suggest one, I will respect it.

Thank you Ellen, so much for your work and for your dedication,

Edited at 2009-07-18 10:45 am (UTC)
Jul. 18th, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
Austen in French
Dear Anny,

I realize how hard it is to keep these things on the Net. Jim and I pay for our server and my website is there because we pay and he has some knowhow. Luckily, for a couple of years the GMU library hired a sincere dedicated librarian who began to fill GMU cyberspace (said to be permanent -- so it'll be there a while at any rate) with faculty publications on the Net. She put much of my website at the time on Mars.gmu, including both Colonna and Gambara books of poetry and the lives, the two French etexts, the Austen calendars.

She is now gone and the new person hasn't the ambition or doesn't think it's worth his or her while.

How about this? Though I no longer write translated poetry, I am still interested in the process of translation. Would you like a short piece on French translations of Austen's novels. I could do that. Give me a date and at least 4 weeks from today. My "real" bent is for criticism. I am a natural literary scholar, rare as this kind of bird seems to be.

I do my little best to contribute something. It makes my life seem more meaningful and endurable to me to be able to share with others in the hope they do appreciate whatever I can manage to send along.

Jul. 19th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
Dear Ellen,

Congratulations! I read Vittoria Colonna's poems at your web site a few years ago and was very impressed. The web is amazing.
Jul. 20th, 2009 10:53 am (UTC)
Yes and it will be informative for a general audience
Dear Anny,

Sorry to not have replied earlier. I'll try to write something. I think I can manage it. How long should it be? How many words? I will try not to be too details and aim at a general audience who know very little about Austen in translation so it will be informative. I'll also suggest her prose is so much poetry and thus the translator has to come up to a high standard of utterance and all the problems of translation kick in :).

The best translation of Austen in French is one made in the 1890s by Felix Fenelon, of Northanger Abbey: it's called Catherine.

Love back,
Jul. 31st, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
First love of Colonna was in French and by another woman, a French scholar
Sudden memory:

I sometimes prefer some of the French translations of Colonna to the Italian originals. I really felt fell in love with Colonna's poetry in a series of French translations by a woman named Suzanne Therault whose book on Colonna I came across in the Library of Congress, Suzanne Thérault. Un Cénacle humaniste de la Renaissance autour de Vittoria Colonna : Châtelaine d'Ischia (Reliure inconnue)
535 pages, Editeur : M. Didier (1968) It's massive and she didn't finish it by the time of her death; it's actually very disorganized and much of the stuff in the notes should be in the direct text. She imagined Colonna spent years on the island of Ischia with her husband's aunt and a bunch of poets (Neapolitan mostly). There is no proof of this at all.

I've never told anyone that before, partly because I don't
usually admit it frankly to myself.

I rememember this because I couldn't remember the name of the 1890s translator of a series of Colonna's sonnets: Lefevre-Deumier, like Fenelong, a man about Paris (town) in the era. He
did spectacularly beautiful and deeply felt translations into the French.

Translation is a mysterious underrated art, much underrated.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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