Giving Voice To The Hybrid Self. Self-Translation As Strategy By Francesca Duranti / Martina Satriano

  • Elena Anna Spagnuolo University of Manchester


The link between translation and migration has become a popular topic in recent studies (De Fina 2003, Cronin 2006, Polezzi 2012, Giordano 2014). These studies put forward the assumption that one of the main effects of migration is the disruption of the grounding of the self in a given mother tongue, as movement across cultures breaks the constitutive relation between language and identity (De Fina 2003:3). Given such hypothesis, these studies investigate what kind of identity is shaped in migratory contexts, and what role translation plays in its shaping.


The present paper takes as starting point the assumption that heteronymous translation is a mediated form of communication that reiterates migrants’ difference and deprives them of their voice (Cronin 2006, Polezzi 2012). As translated beings, migrants are subjected to an external act of interpretation and representation, which controls their subjectivity and agency. Therefore, for them, “the right to exercise autonomous forms of translation” – not to receive translation- is a “crucial element in their emancipation” (Cronin 2006:53-54).


In this article, I seek to explore the link between self-translation, migration, and identity, through a reading of Duranti’s self-translated novel. I argue that self-translation constitutes an unmediated and autonomous form of communication that returns migrants their voice, thus shaping them as agents – and not receivers- of translation. To this end, firstly, I investigate how the writer redefines and represents her ‘hybrid identity’; secondly, I illustrate how her will to voice her hybrid identity affects the linguistic performance of her self-translation, resulting into a specific translating approach, which aims to ‘hybridise’ the text, in order to mediate affinities and differences. I aim to demonstrate that the intentional hybrid form of her self-translations is part of an ideological operation aiming to enact a hybrid discourse against monolingual positions and purity, in favour of multilingualism and heterogeneity.




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Author Biography

Elena Anna Spagnuolo, University of Manchester
Dottoranda in Italian Studies

Riferimenti bibliografici

- Simona Anselmi, On Self-translation. An Exploration in Self-translators' Teloi and Strategies, Milano, LED Edizioni Universitarie, 2012;

-Homi K. Bhabha,The Location of Culture, London, Routledge, 1994;

- Jennifer Burns, Migrant Imaginaries, Figures in Italian Migration Literature, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2013;

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- Anthony Cordingley, Self-Translation: Brokering Originality in Hybrid Culture, London, Continuum, 2013;

- Michael Cronin, Translation and Identity, Oxon, Routledge, 2006;

- Anna De Fina, Identity in Narrative. A Study of Immigrant Discourse, Amsterdam, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2003;

- Francesca Duranti, Left-Handed Dreams, Leicester, Troubador Publishing, 2000;

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- André Lefevere, Translation, Rewriting and the Manipulation of the Literary Fame, London, Routledge, 1992;

- Jopi Nyman, Home, Identity, and Mobility in Contemporary Diasporic Fiction, Amsterdam/New York, Rodopi, 2009;

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- Anthony Pym, Method in Translation History, Manchester, St Jerome, 1998;

- Loredana Polezzi, Translation and Migration, in Translation Studies 5:3, 2012, pp. 345-56;

- Rita Wilson, Parallel creations: between self-translation and the translation of the self, in Creative Constraints. Translation and Authorship, Melbourne, Monash University Publishing, 2012, pp. 47–65;

- Yasemin Yildiz, Beyond the Mother Tongue, The Postmonolingual Condition, New York, Fordham University Press, 2012.
How to Cite
SPAGNUOLO, Elena Anna. Giving Voice To The Hybrid Self. Self-Translation As Strategy By Francesca Duranti / Martina Satriano. Ticontre. Teoria Testo Traduzione, [S.l.], n. 7, p. 67-85, mag. 2017. ISSN 2284-4473. Disponibile all'indirizzo: <>. Data di accesso: 06 ott. 2022
Sezione monografica - Narrating the Self in Self-translation