Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the Case of the Strategically Placed Translator’s Note
Published Online: Jan 01, 2017
This paper straddles the disciplines of translation history and intercultural studies and aims to interrogate the relationship between translators, cultures and taboo. Pym has claimed that “translation history can fulfil a service function with respect to the humanistic disciplines concerned with describing individual cultures” (Pym 1998: 16) and it is hoped that the present study will on the one hand take an initial step towards tracing the changing coordinates of the boundaries separating target (English) culture from source (Italian) culture, and on the other shed light on some of the salient aspects of post-war Italian culture. To this end, we take as our focus of study the oft-cited though little-studied translator’s note as an instance in which meaning transfer within the translated text is for some reason blocked by the translator and substituted with a comment issued by the translator him/herself. Through studying the translator’s note appearing in Giulio Monteleone’s Italian translation of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, published in 1946, which appears at the point in which Mellors uses what in the English courts was deemed scandalously offensive language, we seek to investigate the textual function of this particular translator’s note and the way in which it either bridges or distances source and target cultures.