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Chapter 3 - The Translation and Circulation of Crime Fiction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2022

Jesper Gulddal
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
Stewart King
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
Alistair Rolls
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
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Summary

This chapter sketches out some ways translation aids the circulation of crime fiction across cultures and literary systems, with examples from the early twentieth century and from more recent times. The importance of setting and ‘local colour’ is examined as a key factor in the popularity of certain writers and traditions across international borders, as are editorial and publishing decisions relating to such paratextual elements as titles, cover images and blurbs. One historical example comes from Mondadori’s series of gialli, which was enormously successful in Italy from the 1930s on and which included many translated texts. These works went on to influence local writers, resulting in the importation and adaptation of certain subgenres and tropes. A case study of translations into English of the enormously successful Montalbano novels of Sicilian writer Andrea Camilleri provides the opportunity to investigate the kinds of choices translators and publishers make in preparing a text for a new audience and market. The analysis looks at the translation of dialect and non-standard language, culture-specific political and historical content and the value of translators’ notes.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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