A Girl Named Carla e The Girl Carla: analisi comparata e commento delle due traduzioni inglesi de La ragazza Carla di Elio Pagliarani

(Estratto di un articolo che apparirà completo su Testo a Fronte giugno 2019).

di Antonio Perrone

1. Storia traduttologica ed editoriale

1.1 Introduzione
Il poemetto di Pagliarani ha una storia traduttiva abbastanza cospicua: in circa un cinquantennio a partire dalla sua prima apparizione completa nel 1960, è stato tradotto in alcune delle principali lingue europee, come il castigliano , il tedesco e l’inglese . In quest’ultima si presenta in due edizioni ad opera di due diversi autori. La concentrazione di quattro traduzioni nell’arco di una sola decade testimonia l’interesse internazionale che l’autore ha riscontrato negli ultimi anni, in quanto uno dei principali esponenti di quella cultura “europea” (legata ai fenomeni di modernismo e metalinguaggio) che la poesia italiana, in netto ritardo sulla prosa, ha saputo produrre solo nell’ultimo scorcio di secolo .
Tale importanza è sostenuta oggi dall’attenzione che il Premio Pagliarani, a partire dal 2016, ha riservato alle traduzioni del poeta, aprendo una sezione apposita del bando alle traduzioni in lingua araba, francese, inglese, persiana, spagnola, tedesca, polacca e russa; apertura che, nel nostro caso, sottolinea la rilevanza dell’attività traduttiva come uno degli strumenti principali di conservazione non passiva del materiale letterario.
In questo contributo ci si propone di analizzare le due edizioni in lingua inglese, concentrandoci in particolare sugli strumenti principali di una traduzione poetica.

[…]

1.2.1 Storia traduttologica e prime considerazioni sui testi

Le traduzioni in inglese del poemetto appaiono rispettivamente nel 2006, a cura di Luca Paci in collaborazione con Huw Thomas, per l’editore inglese Transference e nel 2009, a cura di Patrick Allen Rumble, per i tipi di Angicourt, New York. Nell’introduzione a quest’ultima versione, sono indicate le ragioni (e i tempi) della operazione traduttiva:

The idea of translating Elio Pagliarani’s The Girl Carla dates from the fall of 1987 in a classroom in the Italian Department at the University of Toronto where Elio Pagliarani had been invited to read his poems […]. He started [to read] in a slow and quiet way when suddenly (I mean, really suddenly) something in him shifted, his body pushed forward and verses came out of his mouth in a machine-gun rhythm, the poet trying to keep up with words that seemed to force themselves out of his body violently, almost as if of their own accord until after several minutes, and again suddenly, the rhythm changed and, surely exhausted (we all thought), the poet brought his reading to a gentle ending. […] In the many years that have followed that first experience of Pagliarani’s energetic work, and in the subsequent ones in Italy and the United States (where I watched Pagliarani read many of these poems to enthusiastic audience), the idea of translating his poetry slowly took shape and, thanks to the encouragement and aid of poet-scholar Luigi Ballerini, it has now resulted in this volume.

[…] 2.1 Analisi e commento dei testi

Capitolo II.7, vv. 236-249 de La ragazza Carla:
Casa mia casa mia / per piccina che tu sia / c’è Nerina con la pancia / con lo schiaffo sulla guancia del marito che lavora / chi lo sa per quanto ancora / c’è la madre che permette / calze larghe calze strette / tutto bene come fosse / un bambino con la tosse / ogni giorno sempre uguale / c’è una volta carnevale / c’è una volta carnevale / c’è una volta.

Capitolo II.7, vv. 236-249 de A Girl Named Carla:
Little house of mine so dear / though so small you do appear / here’s Nerina with her babby / with a beating for the hubby / working working without pause / how much longer no-one knows / here’s the mum who thinks it right / stockings big and stockings tight / everything is right enough / like a baby with a cough / days come round no interval / only once comes carnival / only once comes carnival / only once

Capitolo II.7, vv. 236-249 de The Girl Carla:
Little home my little home / though you might be bleak / there’s Nerina with her belly / and a slap on her cheek / from her husband who’s working / but who knows how much longer / and there’s mother who’s allowing / stockings tight or much larger / it’s all just fine / like a baby with a cough / everyday’s the same / carnevale comes only once / carnevale comes only once / only once.

Questa porzione del poemetto presenta una strofe in ottonari con ritmo discendente e rima baciata, dunque con una struttura metrica rigida. Quanto subito risalta agli occhi è che Paci mantiene sia il ritmo che l’apparato delle rime, adattando, quindi, la struttura metrica del testo di partenza agli elementi ritmici della lingua inglese, i quali prevedono una facile conciliazione con una struttura di tipo giambico (hoùse of mìne hoùse of mìne) dove l’ultima vocale di un membro sillabico risulta spesso essere muta.

[…] 3.1 Proposta di una nuova traduzione (estratto non presente nell’articolo originale, secondo capitolo del poemetto)
II

1

Carla Dondi was formerly Ambrogio of years
seventeen shorthand as first job
below the Duomo’s shadow

Care and love, it’s love that you need at work
be quick, always smile and learn languages
languages in here languages nowadays
do you know where you are? TRANSOCEAN LIMITED
here the whole world…
sure you’ll be proud.

Lady , we’re subscribed to
The General Cleaning, twice
a week, but Mr. Praték is very
demanding – love at work is love to the world – then
in the closet you’ll find the mop and the duster
your first thought in the morning-

OFFICE A OFFICE B OFFICE C

Why ain’t you eatin’? Now that you work you need it
now that you work you deserve it
much more.

She washed up in the bathroom then straight to the bed
she touched herself all night long.
Nothing was missing, she still was there
as there she was the night earlier – with her hands and her mouth also
she’s seeking herself, she’s going to cry out
she’s going to self-pity
but there’s no fancy
how can she fancy to self-pity?

She pulls her neck back and that’s all.

2

Below the Duomo’s shadow, aside a Duomo’s wing
the colored light signals the tang electric signs
flashing on the front of that old building at the corner
between the unhappy Vittorio Emanuele road and Camposanto square,
Santa Radegonda street, Odeon bar cinema and theatre
a bombed out building that could be the Rinascente

a hundred brass nameplates like that
TRANSOCEAN LIMITED IMPORT EXPORT COMPANY
nine o’ clock the 3rd of february.

Civilization has moved to the north
as it was born in the south, because of the weather
how much spirit does it distill at morning
The february weather, here in the city?

Carla dusts the forniture
Aldous translates telegrams night letters with the codes
a lady in white has started calculations
on the swedish calculator.

It’s an enjoyable time: there’s silence
and the rhythm of a breath , if you look through glass
that people walking to their workplace
fixed eyes focused necessary
they got such warm breath in their mouths
when they say mornin’
it’s them who decide
and I’m with’ em
nothing else to say.

Then this contemporary sky
above, straighten up your back, above but not too much
this sky tin-metal colored

above the square above the city of Sesto above the Cinisello above the district of
[Bovisa
above each of the tram drivers above the terminus

Doesn’t it extend to the infinity
the sides the spires the skyscrapers the big Pirelli’s shed
tin metal covered?

It’s ours this steel sky that doesn’t feign
no Eden and doesn’t allow lost
it’s ours and it’s moral the sky
that’s not promising run from earth
just ‘cause there’s not on earth
no run from us in life.

3

You can learn such thing in office
here’s the school of life
some you need to learn ’em quick
‘cause they mean preparing
the first one is to curry favor with Praték
with his cheapness
Money suits Praték
but never suits a worker, ‘cause at the end
of the month money whether a little or lot the worker
takes it away, then he look at it with his eyes
watery, money, and it doesn’t seem fair to him.
Women also suit Praték
but Lydia she was smart she knew it
then she ran out, the clock, not bad at the typing stool
with the fatty legs of hers.
But his wife with money she’s jealous
she watches over girls’ serenity,
Monsieur Praték – deep down, I’m a philosopher –
not for nothing he’s also been in jail
he respects institutions: Lydia exit
enter Carla: may be helpful to know:
with Doctor Pozzi all you need is grinding on him
getting him to sign quite everything.

4

Monsieur Goldstein a mild clerk betrayed by the name
he asked Aldous his age
twenty-two
I got a son who’s fighting in Tel Aviv
he’s also twenty-two, he said
will this world
yield a piece of earth for children
of ours?
This world has markets
and on the international the currencies
are they free or not, Cogheanu, it’s boss , got an intricate network
from an area to earth they transfer everyday
currencies this way:
Tel Aviv le quinze Avril or Bombay March twenty five
on notepads, scrap paper
Monsieur X veuillez payer à notre Monsieur Ypsilon
la somme de quatre vingt dix mille neuf cent cent cinq dollars
Signé Goldstein or Cogheanu

In Bombay in Tel Aviv in Casablanca a little Mister X
for that little paper pays pounds sterling
or rather dollars dollars, today it’s dollars that count

in the caustic soda deal, done and dusted in a sensitive time
the time when soda on the market was affected by the rise
of Yugoslavia and Germany was banging at the door
and Praték in Rome had already bought
with Italian lire and some coaxing
at the black market of licenses the export
license fort twenty thousand tons
this was the exchanging rate
dollar pound sterling – you buy in pounds you sell in dollars
in London is chancellor a fool –
he sank the deal: thirty thousand dollars in expenses
forty five thousand but not earned forty eight.

For Angel a whole rib-eye steak , with potatoes
for Carla a piece with marrow-bone just ‘cause she likes it
last piece for Nereine potatoes for her mother

nobody knows what does payment
against documents mean or why it’s used
but her mother proud watches Carla
grow up.

5

Perhaps it’s not quite sure that Carla
grows the way she has to grow or does she want or does she know
how to do it, how do you grow up at that age
and which things pass you by and which instead
will mark their passage, who knows it?

Twenty or twenty four years old how many have written
that they’re ready and they need to
go back on that rocky
Road, ‘till down the bowels
of those who’ve given birth to ‘em, in search of
moments of rupture solutions
of continuity
which history does not tell of
but sure they are there
if they are the way they are?

Carla,
sensitive testy unprepared
get lost but carries on, without saying
not once I like it I don’t
with few misunderstood guidelines
misunderstood as such, or unaccepted; specific
desires to be clarified she doesn’t have ‘em
at the end of the month

At the end of the month it’s blood
spotting between her pale legs
making her tremble and also Praték when
he calls her in the office for dictation.

6

For instance, you should hear him curse
such swear words as only a man
disgust to Carla and nothing to ask –
today not mild Aldous
when the cat’s away the mice will play
Mrs Camilla to calm him down
schmooze him the wrong way – with her back
holding back her shoulders, over the typewriter
Carla lays her face taking refuge
in the fastest keys
«There are things you’re overcoming only
in bed, wedged in a woman, and cursed
the fruit of her womb» – Aldous’ trembling
he doesn’t know how to vent

A third world war

FONDAMENTO DEL DIRITTO DELLE GENTI, L’ISTITUTO
DELLA GUERRA È ANTICO QUANTO GLI UOMINI: A DIRIMERE
LE CONTROVERSIE FRA GLI STATI SIA PURE COME EXTREMA RATIO
NULLA DI PIÙ RISOLUTIVO ED EFFICACE DEL RICORSO
A CODESTO, CHE LA DOTTRINA CONFIGURA E LA PRASSI TUTELA
COME SANZIONE DECISIVA CUI SI AFFIDA
IL RIPRISTINO DELLA VIOLATA LEGALITÀ INTERNAZIONALE
NON C’È DA FARSI ILLUSIONE, NON È TALE LA LEGGE SENZA SANZIONE –
E LA LEGGE SPECIFICA, I TRATTATI, DAL GROTIUS AI GIORNI NOSTRI
NE ILLUSTRANO LE RAGIONI E LA FUNZIONE (DELLA GUERRA SANZIONE).
INOLTRE, LA DOTTRINA PIÙ RECENTE, SULLA SCORTA DEGLI ACCADIMENTI
E DELL’ESPRESSA VOLONTÀ DEI SOGGETTI DI DIRITTO INTERNAZIONALE
HA ELABORATO UNA NUOVA FIGURA DEFINITA GUERRA-RIVOLUZIONE
MASSIMA PRODUTTRICE, EX NOVO, DI DIRITTO: LADDOVE LA PRIMA
RIPRISTINA, LA SECONDA CREA, MIRABILMENTE INTEGRANDOSI
IL SORGERE DELLA LEGGE E IL SUO PROSEGUIMENTO

A third world war
is nécessary, né-ces-sa-ry, go on translate my friend
sticking her chest out like a roller and standing tough
but sure I did, translatin’ is my job,
another one is needed, another world war

There also are the ones who every night
remove an eye and put it by
the works of Churchill, on the night table,
meantime they smoke a cigarette:
it’s a false eye, made of glass, but what it’s true
is the eyehole on the face.

But doing it in the daytime, in the full sunlight
to dismay love
do you love me this way?

but doing it in the daytime to sell it
as a safe passage to the Germans
I’m not a whole man therefore
you’ll able to manage without killing
me

That the third world war is necessary
with my word he made
me telling this – in a corner in silence
Praték sayin’ yes with his eyes and that boeotian
both giggling at Biella «Let’s slow down, gentlemen,
no foolin’ around».

He calls a spade a spade
the Turk is quite powerful
getting smart won’t help him at all.

But then, who knows, never done before,
Aldous follows her to the door then offers her Campari and soda
Carla now says no – she already made her mind on her way out –
but then she says yes, to Cappellari
she takes her drink, she mix it
with a touch of shame
then on the tram her head got spinning

Luckily that the trams
luckily on the midday trams
people push you bump you touch you
they also block you with the elbow
they won’t let you fall.

7

Who knows what does weakness mean
strength, in people, backbone.
Who knows what they know the ones who know
what they want, who carry on the certainty
of being, as if they’d always been
men, and forever will be.

House of mine house of mine
even though you’re teeny-tiny
there’s Nereine with baby bump
on her chick she got a thump
from her husband who works hard
and who knows how much is hard
there’s the mom who thinks it’s right
stockings wide stockings tight
all is fine it’s fine enough
like a baby with hiccough
days come roun’ no interval
once upon on carnival
once upon on carnival
once upon

  2 comments for “A Girl Named Carla e The Girl Carla: analisi comparata e commento delle due traduzioni inglesi de La ragazza Carla di Elio Pagliarani

  1. carlo carlucci
    28 Dicembre 2018 at 09:10

    Little home my sweetest dome/there’s Nerina withe her belly/ and a slap by her hubby etc.etc.
    Il poemetto di Pagliarani fondato sulla rima per lo piú baciata e su una sorta giocoso nonsense ha proprio in inglese antecenti noti dall’ ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall/Humpty Dumpty had a great fall….’Se si vuol rispettare l’andamento e cadenza la rima giocosa del poeta (anche a scapito del lessico come nel mio esempietto traduttologico…).
    Per esempio le traduzioni inglesi della poesia leopardiana (ma non solo quelle inglesi)….prendendo l’ultimo verso della sublime ‘Alla sua donna’ ‘…..questo d’ignoto amante inno ricevi.’, per la logica sintattica non solo dell’inglese vuole..’ricevi questo inno da parte di un ignoto amante’. Con tutte le sue conseguenze….

    • Antonio Perrone
      29 Dicembre 2018 at 12:59

      La traduzione di Patrick Rumble, in collaborazione col Ballerini, si basa esclusivamente sulla musicalità. Ho voluto distaccarmi volontariamente dalla sua, mirando anche a una corrispondenza di senso.

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