Reading It Wrong

Sempre acute le osservazioni di Tim Parks sulla traduzione. 
"But if a writer should come up with some perplexing idea, or, worse still, some declaration running contrary to received wisdom or political correctness, then anxiety sets in; ... In many cases, especially if the novelty is expressed subtly, students, but also practiced translators, will end up reducing the text to something more conventional.
This tic can take the form of introducing words a translator thought should be there but aren’t. Take this fairly innocuous example: In Lawrence’s Women in Love Ursula reflects that she’s not even tempted to get married. Her sister Gudrun agrees and carries on, “Isn’t it an amazing thing … how strong the temptation is, not to!” Lawrence comments: “They both laughed, looking at each other. In their hearts they were frightened.” A recent Italian edition of the book offers something that, translated back into English, would give, “They both burst out laughing, looking at each other. But deep in their hearts they were afraid.”
Experimenting over the years I’ve realized that if I ask a class of students to translate this into Italian approximately half will introduce that “but.” It appears to be received wisdom that one doesn’t laugh if one is afraid; hence when Lawrence puts the two things together, translators feel a “but” is required to acknowledge the unusualness of this state of affairs. Lawrence on the other hand suggests that nothing is more common than laughing and being afraid; one laughs because afraid, in order to deny fear". nybooks.

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