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Translating for the Common Reader An Ongoing Research on Science and Education in the Italian Book Trade, 1865-1903

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elisa MarazziORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The article aims at presenting the first results of a research on works, series, periodicals translated and adapted for the Italian recently broadened audience of the late 19th century, especially during the age of Positivism. It presents two case studies: 1. translation and adaptation of geographical publications by Emilio Treves; 2. reuse of images in educational publications for object lessons, mainly published by Hoepli, Vallardi, Paravia. The two case studies are meant to give account of publishers’ strategies, influenced by the emergence of new readers, and favoured by a still-undefined international copyright legislation. Publishers often translated and adapted texts from in order to satisfy their audience and save money at the same time, since they wouldn't pay copyright costs; by doing so, they ended up acting as relevant transcultural mediators in an age of mass education. In the conclusions, the debate on the controversial reception of Positivism in Italy, which determines the time span of the article, is mentioned as likely to benefit from the study of the coeval book trade. Namely, it can be argued that the surprising diffusion of scientism at every rank of society during the so-called Italian liberal age drew upon on the described strategies of transcultural adaptation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marazzi E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published


Year: 2017

Volume: 6

Issue: 2

Pages: 111-146

Online publication date: 01/12/2017

Acceptance date: 25/07/2017

Date deposited: 17/10/2019

ISSN (print): 2280-7934

ISSN (electronic): 2283-9364

Publisher: Alma Mater Studiorum UniversitĂ  di Bologna


DOI: 10.6092/issn.2283-9364/7701


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