February 5, 2023

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Bassani and the United States “special relationship”

By Francesco Franchella Translating means betrayal, but sometimes it’s necessary. It was necessary, for example, for the young and penniless Giorgio Bassani, who had been commissioned with some translations of important novels and short stories, to earn some extra money (but he never failed to translate to feed his apprenticeship). There are many translations from French, but there is also something from English. In 1945, James Cain’s best-selling book, The Postman Always Rings Twice, was published in Italy by Bompiani, translated by Bassani himself, possibly commissioned by Vittorini. Bassani and America. Bassani and the United States, a democratic nest with a free flavor, especially for those who not long ago suffered from marginalization and exclusion by the regime. In fact, Bassani’s translation of A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece, dates back to 1943, a translation that never saw the light of day and which is now considered lost. That was until a few weeks ago, when Valerio Capuzzo, an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi, came across a notebook containing Bassani’s handwritten translation of “A Farewell to Arms,” ​​A Farewell to Arms, in fact. Some…

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