• Eleonora Fois


Description is the chief discursive strategy to communicate information on space. The ekphrastic role of landscape description, however, might go beyond setting the scene. One of the ways to fully express ideas related to landscape and human experience is metaphor, where landscapes often serve as a referent. The negotiation of meaning involving landscape metaphors is culturally and socially situated, and becomes more complex once translation is involved. This contribution will argue that the translator’s interpretation can re-shape the features of such negotiation and consequently the target readers’ understanding of that landscape. The use of metaphors in relation to landscape and nature will be observed via a contrastive analysis of Sardinian Nobel Laureate in Literature Grazia Deledda’s novel La madre and its 1922 translation (The Mother) by Mary Steegman. The contrastive analysis will be based on Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), drawing from Prandi’s classification and theory of metaphor and Schäffner’s classification of metaphor translation (2017). Ecostylistics will be employed to analyse those patterns in literary texts which are generally excluded from ecolinguistic consideration, but which still uncover the translator’s approach with regards to nature and landscape. The aim is to highlight the degree to which metaphor translation depends on the translator’s cultural framework and perceptions of nature as well as personal style and interpretation, possibly shifting the impact of metaphor from the source text to the target text. Particular attention will be devoted to the stylistic and narratological consequences of translating a metaphor with a simile.

Keywords: conceptual metaphor theory; ecostylistics; metaphor; simile; metaphor translation: Grazia Deledda.


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