Il genio impetuoso: L'evoluzione creatrice di Italo Svevo ne Lo Specifico del Dottor Menghi
Robbins, Andrew Martin
This thesis is a study and translation of Lo Specifico del Dottor Menghi (Doctor Menghi's Specific), a short story by the Italian fiction writer Aron Ettore Schmitz, best known by his pseudonym Italo Svevo. Unusually it has not received significant critical attention, in difference to Svevo's contribution to the modern Italian novel. But the story is special in that it straddles 19th century sensibilities regarding science and philosophy of ideas while simultaneously being a brilliant antecedent to Italian modernist fiction.The study is divided in three parts, in order to accommodate the analysis which contextualizes the short story with two essays by Svevo, the translation itself, and a comment on the translation process. The first portion examines L'uomo e la teoria darwiniana and La corruzione dell'anima as a means of providing the basis for Svevo's thoughts on evolution. The focus then turns to an examination of the short story in of itself. I aimed to contextualize the story historically, focusing on Svevo's "silent years," a period where he declared his retreat from literary publication. Then, in contrast to Darwinian evolutionism, I hoped to highlight parallel themes in Svevo's selected writings with those of the influential French philosopher Henri Bergson on the philosophy of creative evolution. The second portion is my own translation of Lo Specifico del Dottor Menghi, a translation into English for the first time. In order to better connect the story itself to the translation process, a short paper precedes the translation and discusses the intellectual impact of such an endeavor, insight into the translating process, and reasoning behind more frustrating (and `problematic') translational choices.
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Woolhandler, Steffie; Himmelstein, David U.; Robbins, Dennis; Neft, Martin G.; Criscione, James R.; Leith, John D.; Pearson, Steven D.; Sabin, James E.; Emanuel, Ezekiel J. (1999-01-28)