Traduzione di “Funeral Blues” di W. H. Auden

Per un corso che sto seguendo mi sono ritrovato a tradurre i celebri versi di Funeral Blues di W. H. Auden (sì, quella di Quattro matrimoni e un funerale di Mike Newell). Tradurre è sempre una bella sfida, ma quando si tratta di tradurre poesia la difficoltà aumenta in modo esponenziale. Ecco il testo originale:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Questa che segue è la mia versione. In traduzione si parla sempre di loss & gain, qualcosa si perde, qualcosa si guadagna. Ho deciso di lasciare qualcosa per la via e cercare di ricreare il ritmo originale della poesia, prediligendo l’aspetto sonoro. O almeno, ci ho provato: Continua a leggere “Traduzione di “Funeral Blues” di W. H. Auden”

Metro, treno, partenza, underground

Underground by Murakami

It’s really unusual to start talking about your favorite author chosing an essay and not one of his most famous novels. But Underground is really important, in my opinion, to understand his novels and his poetics in general.

Underground is a collection of interviews about the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway: in 1995 some members of the religious sect Aum, founded in 1987 by Asahara Shōkō, released sarin inside the subway trains – sarin, a gas invented during WWII by the Germans, a single drop of it can kill a human being. This attack caused thousand of victims and about 12 deaths. The book collects the interviews of the survivors: they tell where they were, how they reacted and how this attack still influences their lives. Among these interviews we  also find the interviews to the members of the Aum, which is actually another book published in Japanese as “約束された場所で―underground 2″, translated as “the place that was promised, underground 2”, quothing An Old Man Awake in his Own Death by Mark Strand.

Continua a leggere “Underground by Murakami”

WTF, DC? The Dark Knight Strikes Again

That’s exactly what I thought after reading DK2…WTF?!


Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is one of the most critically-acclaimed comic book series of all time, and for good reason; it’s the ultimate in badassery. A what-if tale set in a bleak future in which an older, retired Bruce Wayne forces himself to dust off the cowl and dive back into crimefighting despite the fact that he might not be up to it physically. It imposed a darker, grittier tone on Batman than anything that had come before, and the approach was so successful that comic scribes and filmmakers have been emulating it ever since. The Dark Knight Returns, along with Alan Moore’s Watchmen, popularized the phrase “graphic novel” (much to Moore’s chagrin) and made it culturally acceptable for non-geeks to be seen reading comics in public. Maybe. Jury’s still out.

Fifteen years later, when Miller released a sequel entitled The Dark Knight Strikes Again

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#Japanese Kanji and Women

Today I’d like to talk about a couple of kanji which are not that friendly to women (even if I have to admit that I laughed the first time I saw them!)

Little Introduction to Kanji

For those of you who are not familiar with Japanese I’ll do a little introduction, without academic purposes: there are two kinds of alphabets in Japanese (even if it would be more appropriate to speak about syllabary), hiragana and katakana. The first one is used for grammatical purposes (particles, conjunctions, adverbs etc) and the second one is used in order to transcribe words coming from a foreign language (but also for onomatopoeia, emphasis and so on) In addiction to these two syllabaries (which are similar to our alphabet, that is to a character corresponds a vowel or a syllable) there is the kanji system. Every kanji charachter has two readings, one called kun, used when the kanji appears alone and one called on, which is the pronunciation of Chinese origin (my teacher always says “the Chinese people said shan but we heard san so today we keep saying san!”) Just one example: 食べる means to eat. 食 is the kanji for eating and food. Here it is pronunced ta because it is used alone as verb. In the word for meal 食事 (shokuji) it is pronunced sho because it is in combination with another kanji. One really gets crazy.

Kanji and 女の人

Actually kanji are used in a very logical way: (ki) is tree; 木本 (two trees, pron. mokuhon) is wood and (three trees, pron. mori) is forest. So here we come to our first kanji:


if women is 女, three women together give us the adjective 姦しい (kashimashii) which means noisy. Really logical indeed.


But let’s keep following this misogynistic track: the word for my wife is 家内 (kanai). If we analyse the two kanji we have house and inside: who’s inside the house? My wife. Continua a leggere “#Japanese Kanji and Women”

Plzeň, Czech Republic

I wanna start the week by showing a couple of pictures of a lovely city of the Czech Republic: Plzeň.

It’s an university town, not very far from Prag, famous for its Pilsner Urquell. I went in October 2014 in order to participate to my first Trans Europe Halles meeting (followed by Budapest and Vienna). The hosting cultural centre was the Johan Centrum, which didn’t have its official “venue” then. It looked like this:

During the following meetings they showed their restructuring works, they really did a nice job! Continua a leggere “Plzeň, Czech Republic”

Introduzione al fumetto giapponese: elementi di storia, traduzione, adattamento e organizzazione redazionale

Consiglio sull’argomento la lettura di “Manga: 60 anni di fumetto giapponese” di Paul Gravett!

Scuola di traduzione per il fumetto e l'editoria

Il programma delle giornate della Scuola prosegue con la lezione del 14 marzo, tenuta da Andrea Baricordi (Kappa Edizioni, Star Comics).

In Giappone la lettura è un’attività molto diffusa tra la popolazione e l’editoria, compresa quella a fumetti, rappresenta un punto cardine per l’economia del paese, con tirature altissime, oltre a essere stata – storicamente – una forma di collegamento tra parti diverse del paese e della popolazione.

Prima della Seconda Guerra Mondiale il fumetto in Giappone si componeva di vignette satiriche o umoristiche e di qualche raro caso di propaganda bellica, dove tutto si risolveva al massimo in poche pagine.

La svolta del fumetto giapponese moderno è arrivata nell’immediato dopoguerra con Osamu Tezuka, considerato capostipite del manga e delle animazioni giapponesi, che ha conferito le caratteristiche che ancora oggi contraddistinguono gran parte di queste produzioni.

Con Shin Takarajima, inizialmente pubblicato a puntate su una rivista per…

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Dire quasi la stessa cosa: Anna Martini

Articolo davvero interessante, grazie!

Giacomo Verri Libri


Io non sono brava ad analizzare il mio mestiere, a mettere in mostra gli strumenti, a descrivere i “segreti” di una buona traduzione.

Privilegio e responsabilità, fatica e divertimento, partecipazione e distacco, serietà e incoscienza, presunzione e modestia… C’è tutto questo, ma dovendo individuare una sola parola chiave, direi che è orecchio. Suona facile? Lo è. È un lavoro più complesso da spiegare che da fare, di volta in volta diverso. È fatto di decisioni continue da prendere, decisioni sul senso e sul suono, sulla forma e sulla sostanza. Può essere mortalmente noioso, faticoso, impegnativo, ansiogeno, lieve, divertente come un gioco enigmistico, entusiasmante e questo dipende da fattori vari, ma in primo luogo dal testo che si deve tradurre e di conseguenza dal suo autore.

Generalmente, quando comincio a rileggere una traduzione che ho appena finito, sono le mie goffaggini a rinfacciarmi che il libro mi è piaciuto poco: versioni…

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The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

The Hypnotist is a thriller/crime novel by Lars Kepler, which is the pen name for the Swedish couple Alexander Ahndoril & Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Exactly, a book written by a couple. Maybe you are now sceptic as I was. But let’s go to the point.

As it is very difficult to talk about a crime novel without spoilers, I will divide this review into two parts:


The Hypnotist is an entertaining novel. It opens with a brutal family murder, whose survivors are only the little brother and his older sister. In order to make the boy talk about what happened, they call Erik Maria Bark, a hypnotist specialized in dealing with people who experienced a traumatic event. The problem is Erik quit hypnotism 10 years ago, so he is quite reluctant to practice it again. But in the end he does it. What the lad tells is, of course, shocking, making Erik’s past come back and haunt him and his family once more. Co-Protagonist of the novel is Joona Linna, the most stereotypical police officer you can ever meet: a sexy man with a foreign accent surrounded by women, self-assured and, surprise surprise, he says he’s always right (and in the novel he will always be right, of course). If you are familiar with crime novels you will probably find him annoying. Continua a leggere “The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler”

My thoughts about Berlin

Hello! Today I’d like to share some thoughts about the city to be: Berlin. The pictures you will see were taken during the years so they belong to several visits I spent to the city.

The first time I went to Berlin was three years ago. I was staying in Frankfurt for one month, doing research for my Dissertation. A friend came to visit me and we decided to take a train and see Berlin, the city everybody talks about. Once there, after a very long journey, the first thing which struck me was the U-bahn: this omnipresent yellow train which, like the veins in a body, connects the city in all its vital points. It should be U-Bahn, Untergrundbahn, but I had the impression that the trains are “overground” much of the time, offering scenes like this:

Oberbaumbrücke, Berlin, Bridges, U-bahn

Before going to Berlin, I never paid too much attention or actually cared about subway stations. They’re just a transit point. But when you’re in Berlin, you can get off the train, turn around and distractedly see a scene like this.

U-bahn, Berlin, sun

There are surely other cities in which the subway is more beautiful, better organized and so on. But with Berlin I actually see a special connection between the city and its transport system. Continua a leggere “My thoughts about Berlin”