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Lukasz Czaru so many fake sites. Just as Hutchinson was compelled, as an expatriate, to come to terms with the social and cultural reality of his host country  which is, for all purposes, a question of spatiality , so the translator, like a migrant travelling through time, is forced to come to grips with an ancient world governed by laws long forsaken and now irretrievable the question of temporality.
And since both writer and translator are forever barred from a fully unmediated contact with the unconsciously lived culture of the Other, both seeing it as something external to themselves, though not necessarily negative, their attempts to assimilate cultural elements and national idiosyncrasies can only take place on the terrain of the imaginary, which enables them to crop, select, filter and reshape elements and idiosyncrasies in order to discursively tame the otherness. Translators of travel writing therefore have to operate on a double disjuncture.
On the one hand, they have to deal with the cultural gap that exists between the author and the people he visits Hutchinson and the Portuguese , a gap which over-determines the perceptions, constructs, responses and projections of otherness of the British expat, but which -- since it is barely made explicit in the text -- can only be detected by means of a symptomatic reading.
On the other hand, translators have to negotiate the disjunction that will always separate them from the time and the concrete conditions under which the texts saw the light of day -- a disjunction that is further amplified by the impossibility of mapping the exact location of the intersection of cultures which gives the letters their characteristic intercultural tension see Cronin 6. Therefore, the translator is left with no choice but to try to overcome these two disjunctions, both of which constitute distinct moments of resistance to interpretation.
How can we then circumvent the limitations to translation that such a double disjuncture imposes? Of course a careful, detailed investigation into the empirical elements offered by the letters and the issues broached therein must always be conducted, but this is not enough: it can only be through a critical awareness of these tensions and resistances that translators may decentre themselves and avoid the pitfalls of identification and idealisation. It is this decentring at the core of translation that ends up being in itself a form of travelling.
It is rather the translator and his reader who are invited to venture across a frontier -- the frontier that sets the limits to their identities, values and representations, and that is both spatial and temporal. In fact, the main challenges to the translation of these letters were posed by the problem of temporality, that is, by the difficulties of bridging the time gap.
The first issue to be tackled was the stylistics of the Portuguese target text. It was not just a matter of finding the best equivalents and transferring contents from the source text into the target language without major semantic losses. It was also a matter of finding a style and a register that could somehow match the original ones. In order to do that, I compared the letters to similar archival and bibliographical sources in Portuguese.
The analysis of the examples of letters allowed me to determine the way in which the target text was to be drafted. In Portuguese, this is not so linear. In the early nineteenth century, modes of address would have varied according not only to social class, age or degree of familiarity, but also to written language conventions. The solution to the difficulty in ascertaining whether we were dealing with informality or politeness was partly given by the manual. This was the form I resorted to throughout. Another difficulty had to do with wording.
The manuals proved useful in guiding my lexical choices. I wanted to give the translation a distinctive period flavour to represent the historical dimension of the original letters. Another challenge was related to the commercial jargon both in English and in Portuguese. Nowadays commercial terminology in both languages is much more complex, but most of the neologisms that currently exist in Portuguese are English words.
Back then, that influence was more tenuous. In any case, the search for the right equivalent would have always been time-consuming. If we multiply this by the wide spectrum of nomenclatures related to those areas of economic activity Hutchinson was directly or indirectly involved in, we have an idea of the complexity of the task. To start with, there were the inner workings of the wool trade business. I had to unwind the ball of yarn of the English wool and worsted industry, including all the details concerning the different stages of the manufacturing process: recognising the provenance and differences in quality of the raw wool available in both the Portuguese and Spanish markets, the various patterns of the warp and weft, the way the cloth should be cut or dressed, specific types of woollen cloths, their designs and colours, and so on.
It took me a while before I learnt from a magazine published in London in Tilloch that the initials did not stand for any English or Portuguese words, but for Spanish ones. They referred to the way Spanish wool which also included Portuguese wool was classified: Primera or Refina R. Moreover, since conducting business ventures overseas back then was not without its risks, I had to acquaint myself with the idiom used in cargo and shipping insurance, learn about risk-assessment, shipping deadlines, storage conditions, bills of lading, types of merchant ships crossing the Atlantic, and so on.
But then there are also taxes and duties, customs procedures and the requirements of port authorities, the valuation of the bales in the Cocket,  goods lodged at the Custom House not yet dispatched -- all of this wrapped up in a language of its own, which has to be patiently disassembled, explored, digested, and then reassembled and fine-tuned in the translation process.
In order to penetrate that language I had to resort to historical research once more. However, since the Revista de Estudos Anglo-Portugueses is aimed at a scholarly readership, it proved unnecessary to insist on the explanation of cultural or linguistic aspects that they are supposed to be already acquainted with.
Differences in style between early nineteenth-century and early twenty-first-century Portuguese are noticeable, but they do not make the text less intelligible. In any case, stylistic conventions should not pose a problem for all the scholars who are used to working with documents of that period. So I kept the footnotes to a minimum. The future publication of a book containing the complete correspondence of the Farrer family, this time aiming at a more general readership, will entail a different explanatory methodology, but not a different stylistic treatment.
Writing narratives of displacement and travel is in itself a translational act, where the author is always seeking to translate into his mother tongue the manifestations of the culture of the other. In the process, the translator is forced to question his identity, values and the representations of his own nation and people, especially if the original text is non-fictional and therefore stakes a claim to the immediacy and truthfulness of the experience. The translator thus has to achieve a tour-de-force in bridging all three gaps and rendering the text accessible to the contemporary reader.
However, the meanings in the target text will always have but a spectral relation with the ones in the source text: they are constructed at the same time as a re-apparition of a former presence that does not present itself as full presence and as the apparition of a new presence —a new text in its own right. Brewster, London, New Left Books. London, R. Covering dates: Paris, ; Joaquim Ferreira de Freitas. London, Richard and Arthur Taylor, He is also the director of studies of postgraduate programmes in ELT and translation.
He has also participated in several European-funded projects related to teacher training and computer-assisted language learning. English: This article aims to investigate how humour is translated in two theatrical plays by Eugene Ionesco La Cantatrice chauv e and Les Chaise s into Greek. The study explores three different Greek versions of the two theatrical plays. On the one hand, it seeks to consider humorous effects within the original plays, and on the other hand, it investigates the challenges involved in transposing verbal humour and the strategies used to translate or even reinforce humour in the translated texts.
If incongruity is an indispensable humour - provoking parameter, translators should also seek to mobilize the same cognitive mechanism in the translated texts. It is argued that even if a more literal translation is not always privileged or even possible, what is of importance is the humorous effect, otherwise the perlocutionary force of the translated humour on the target audience.
Nous sommes comiques. Toutes les personnes importantes? Les psychiatres et leurs psychopathes? Le Pap e, les pap illons et les pap iers. Ionesco , Les Chaises , traduit par Belies, p. La sou pape a un pape. Le pape a besoin d'un bouchon. Bien que ce ne soit pas grand-chose. Ionesco , La Cantatrice chauve , traduit par Protopapas, p. Ionesco , La Cantatrice chauve , traduit par Belies , pp. Et il riait comme un veau. Ionesco, Les Chaises traduit par Stamatiou. Pourquoi tu prenais mal tout trop facilement?
Il a juste fait une blague. Je n'aime pas les blagues! Giorgos Protopapas. Traduit en grec. Erikkos Belies Traduit en grec. Belgium, University Press Antwerp: House, Juliane Translation quality assessment. A model revisited, Tubingen, Gunther Narr. Gruner, Charles, R. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. Trabelsi dir. Margot, Jean-Claude Traduire et trahir. Meyer, John, C. Nida, Eugene, A. Reiss, Katharina, et Vermeer, Hans, J.
Nord, , Manchester: St Jerome Publishing. Vandaele, Jeroen guest ed. Jerome Publishing, Vol. London, Continuum: Maria Constantinou received her Ph. She taught foreign languages and communication-related courses in private academic institutions of Cyprus , and since January , she has been teaching linguistics, critical discourse analysis, semiotics and translation both theory and practice at the University of Cyprus.
She is particularly interested in issues related to metaphors, ideology, emotions, humour, discourse, society and identity construction. She has published on Kazantzakis and Ionesco, focussing mainly on the phenomena of intertextuality, metaphor, humour and ideology. Her recent research includes journalistic and political discourse, CMC forums, blogs and media and institutional translation and pays particular attention to the interplay between image and text.
She has participated in various conferences and published articles and chapters on and in English, French and Greek mainly from a contrastive, cross-cultural and translational perspective in refereed and peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. The manifold interface between music, migration and translation can foster challenging research, especially when translation is metaphorically approached as a continuous journey and migrating condition of people and forms. Moreover, this song has been crossing an unbelievable number of geographical, temporal and artistic boundaries, often intertwined with actual stories of Italian-American migration.
The case study focuses on some relevant moments in this amazing journey, observing the successive layers of meaning created by its many incarnations. The case study fully confirms that broader perspectives are crucial when studying the migration of popular songs. Monolithic notions, such as authenticity, cultural specificity or musical genre, as well as narrow distinctions between song translation proper , intralingua translation, non-translation and adaptation do not easily engage with this context.
Thus, flexibility is the only viable answer.
It is a stimulating field for both Music and Translation Studies, calling for more challenging approaches and greater contamination from both research areas. Music is a migrating form of art. Being a universal language Minors 1 , it can spread and migrate much more easily than people, thus establishing contacts and interacting with a variety of cultural influences.
It comes as no surprise that stimulating contributions have recently appeared, showing that studies on music and migration can be promising allies in particular, see Kapelj in and Kiwan and Meinhof Similarly, the articulate interface between music and translation has started to attract increasing academic attention, becoming the focus of a growing number of thought-provoking studies . The intersection of translation and music can be a fascinating field to explore.
It can enrich our understanding of what translation might entail, how far its boundaries can be extended and how it relates to other forms of expression. Research into this area can thus help us locate translation-related activities in a broader context, undermining more conservative notions of translation and mediation. Susam-Saraeva The focus on translation has been shifted towards cultural processes, with increasing emphasis on new modes of mobility and transcultural sociability born across multiple borders and boundaries.
Translation is seen as a continuous journey, a metaphor for the migrating condition of people and forms. Bassnett and Trivedi Each time some meaningful layers have been added, both problematizing and enriching the migration of this song. However, these steps can be better understood only if read as parts of a complex process still in progress, rather than a series of detached translational episodes. Therefore, the aim of the article is to offer a downside-up contribution to the debate on song translation through a paradigmatic case study.
The analysis of a concrete example of a multifaceted translational process is a way to confirm and stress the relevance of more comprehensive and extended theoretical foundations within cultural translation studies. Translation Studies have often overlooked popular songs, especially their semiotic complexity.
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Yet, paradoxically, it is their very multidimensional nature that makes studying them so challenging and promising at the same time. Undoubtedly, an element of its complexity is the fact that the genre called song is a verbal-musical hybrid Low b: Chanan However, this paradox is only one of the elements of complexity in songs. The physique of the performers, their facial expression and gestures, their costumes, hair, and make-up, as well as dancers, lighting and possible props, merge into the song. The methodological complexities and challenges involved in the study of popular song translation are thus evident.
The study of song recordings and videos should rely on a vast area of expertise. A combined competence, in Translation Studies, Music as well as Semiotics, is unfortunately not easy to find. However, even when moving on from mere criticism of single texts, researchers need to adopt new frameworks when studying music and translation Susam-Saraeva To start with, greater flexibility is crucial, since rigid distinctions could be misleading.
The present author rather shares the view that distinctions are better seen as blurred in post-structuralist thought Van Wyke This opinion is even more appropriate in the case of translation of non-canonized music, such as popular song translation. Susam-Saraeva stresses that. Susam-Saraeva , highlighting added. This case study will show how a long series of different transformations can receive greater significance if approached as a continual translational story.
However, this approach inherently requires the overcoming of narrow definitions and boundaries between translation proper , adaptation and re-writing. Understandably, the impact of music and in particular of songs is even more intense on migrant communities Susam-Sarajeva Since its composition in lyrics by Giovanni Capurro, music by Edoardo Di Capua, published by Edizioni Bideri, Naples , the song has spread rapidly and is still crossing an impressive, unbelievable number of geographical, temporal and artistic borders and boundaries.
At any rate, it cannot be denied that its popularity has been exceptional, and this is fully confirmed by the Neapolitan Song Sound Archives in Naples, a recent foundation by RadioRai the Italian state radio together with Naples Municipality and Campania Regional Council. Eloquent proof of this is that on August 14 th in Antwerp, at the opening of the first Olympic Games after World War I, when the band conductor realized that no score of the Italian Royal March was available, he chose to play 'O sole mio , a tune that all his musicians could play by ear, and the song was greeted with great enthusiasm by all those present Del Bosco 6.
Pesc and Stazio 11 [As a music form, Neapolitan song is a metonymy for a city, and sometimes even for the whole country. It is an eloquent example of narrativization of place. However, any claims to regard City and Country as monolithic entities remain suspect. We must acknowledge that urban cultures are by their very nature the result of multiple intersections and layers, and similarly local and national cultures are seldom so homogenous as to be conveyed by a single song, or music form, although they may serve as identity emblems.
Naples is no exception, of course, though it has a few very distinctive traits. One of them is the persisting presence of a type of musical production with strong identifying factors since the 19th, which complicates and problematizes what has just been observed. On the other hand, an important issue to weigh in is that, paradoxically, this musical form is a sort of hybrid, and has been so since its very beginning.
What is usually labelled as Neapolitan song is very far from being a uniform musical genre. In fact, it is a much more complex and multifaceted cultural phenomenon than one might expect. The beginning of the classical season of Neapolitan art songs is identified with the closing decades of the 19 th century, but the actual origins of this musical form are vague and should be traced back to the 14 th century, and probably even earlier. Neapolitan polyphonic roundelays with lute or calascione accompaniment  had already become quite popular between the 14th and the 15th centuries; their matrix had been the villanelle alla napolitana , a very popular song genre in Neapolitan dialect especially between and , which also attracted important composers, like Claudio Monteverdi.
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It also reflects complex phenomena, from the steady migration into Naples from other areas in the Realm, to the continual daily commuting of so-called cafoni , common louts, from the surrounding countryside. Although fiction is not to be taken as an accurate reflection of real life, this episode evokes a plausible dislocation of the song from Southern Italy to Venice, popular enough to be sung even by a gondolier. Venice and Naples had belonged to different states only a few decades before, in pre-Unification Italy.
This means that important cultural and linguistic borders had still to be crossed within the Italian peninsula. In point of fact, its lyrics, even nowadays, can be only partially understood by native Italian speakers not fully acquainted with the Neapolitan dialect. Structurally and rhythmically, the text is characterized by regularity and constant alternation of rhymed stanzas and chorus.
Repetition words, phrases and whole lines is the key figure throughout the poem. Moreover, each four-line stanza is framed by the recurrence of the same line. What a wonderful thing a sunny day The cool air after a thunderstorm!
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The fresh breezes banish the heavy air… What a wonderful thing a sunny day. Il sole, il sole mio, Sta in fronte a te Sta in fronte a te. Luccicano I vetri della tua finestra, una lavandaia canta e si vanta Mentre strizza, stende e canta. Luccicano I vetri della tua finestra! Shining is the glass from your window; A washwoman is singing and bragging Wringing and hanging laundry and singing Shining is the glass from your window. Quando fa sera e il sole se ne scende, Mi viene quasi una malinconia… Resterei sotto la tua finestra, Quando fa sera ed il sole se ne scende.
But another sun, […] . In the whole poem, a text of only thirty-three lines, the word sole sun occurs sixteen times. Presumably this core image is what has helped it overcome linguistic barriers and reach native Italian speakers outside Naples. Nonetheless, although it is not a minor mistake, this common mistranslation has paved the way of the migration of the song, at least at the beginning. It has become a quintessential synthesis, or rather an epitome of Latin vitality and passionate feeling.
The mistaken meaning has even become an important factor in collective identity construction. The implicit commonplace is the equation sunshine is Naples and Italy, with two direct corollaries:. They were singular figures, street musicians who, accompanied occasionally by a pianino a portable musical box on a hand-cart , but mostly by a guitar, interpreted all types of popular song, travelling almost all over Europe .
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Italians were migrating from different parts of Italy, carrying with them very different cultural backgrounds. Caruso was the most admired Italian opera tenor of the early Twentieth Century, and certainly the most celebrated and highest paid of his contemporaries worldwide. From November 23 rd his name was associated with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where he opened each season for eighteen consecutive years. Undoubtedly, this recording itself could be seen as a meaningful form of transformation, through musical reconceptualization, arrangement, performance and singing style.
Certainly, Italian communities abroad looked up to him. He was a migrant like them, and thus they could idolize him as an emblem of collective Italian redemption. Opera and great theatres meant higher prestige and greater circulation abroad, well beyond Italian-speaking migrant communities. This way, greater emphasis is placed on the stanzas that are more focussed on the sunshine and easier to understand, being linguistically least dialectical. Instead it proves how incongruous ideas of authentic interpretations can be.
The first recorded version in English sung by American born Charles W. However, although interesting, all these cases only affect the textual-linguistic level of the song. It was sung by the American singer Tony Martin as well as by the Italian American singer Dean Martin, who recorded it some years later. Easily perceivable effects of cultural displacement can be spotted in the disconnecting of lyrics and partly of music, too, from the Neapolitan song that had reached the USA.
It is a radical rewriting, to start with the lyrics. Love is a flower that blooms so tender Each kiss a dew drop of sweet surrender, Love is a moment of life enchanting, Let's take that moment, that tonight is granting, There's no tomorrow when love is new, Now is forever when love is true, So kiss me and hold me tight, There's no tomorrow, there's just tonight .
It gives way to a more universal theme, Love, which Love becomes the absolute protagonist of the song. Its warmth and unmistakably Mediterranean flavour are easily seen as the perfect match for a successful message of fervent and sensuous seduction. The shift from opera orchestras to variety show bands needs important musical reconceptualization, but voice still plays the main role.
In both cases, however, what remains pivotal is the successful match of passionate melody and warm voice. On the one hand, he is adding a strong exotic Mediterranean flavour to his performance, thoroughly befitting a passionate seduction song, while, on the other hand, he is sending a strong signal to Italian communities in America. Both musically and textually the Neapolitan song is drastically changed through a translational approach, which minimizes its foreignness to the point of overshadowing it. A 20 th -century concept, which rarely appeared in earlier song but did appear with some frequency from the thirties on, was the possibility of impermanent love.
Tawa It favours love as a theme, although romantic sentimentality gives way to seduction and passion, with a subtle trace of urban cynicism. It's now or never, come hold me tight Kiss me my darling, be mine tonight Tomorrow will be too late, it's now or never, my love won't wait.
It's now or never, come hold me tight Kiss me my darling, be mine tonight Tomorrow will be too late, it's now or never, my love won't wait . It is immediately a roaring success. According to the Wikipedia list of best-selling singles, it is the eighth best-selling single of all time, while other sources exalt it as the best-selling single ever. Arguably the best selling single of all time, it shifted 30 million copies worldwide Julie Burns It consists basically of a bar chorus and verse, both based on a familiar tune, and there is nothing unusual or striking about the melodic or harmonic structure of this song.
As Saffle states, what is really unusual is the way Elvis sings this song, his strikingly handsome and heart-felt performance Saffle Elvis Presley was a stunning performer, and although he did not compose any of his music, the ways in which he performed the songs made them always sound new and unique. However, since his powerful stage presence had started to defy the values of more conservative audiences, who began to be suspicious of his glamorous bad-boy appeal and his culturally challenging music, in this song he deliberately adopted a more passionate and less defiant performing style Saffle 2.
However, market conventions also include the need to stress the Italian flavour as an essential element in a love song of seduction. The use of a mandolin in the orchestra accompaniment, an instrument traditionally associated with Italian folk music, is clearly meant to provide local colour, too. They are perfectly in line with the conventional image of Italy as the country of melody and sensual romance needed for the American market. What is theoretically innovative, and politically crucial, is the need to think beyond narratives of originary and initial subjectivities and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences.
Bhabha 2. What is important is that the song lives on, modified and modifying at the same time. It travels well beyond Italian migrant communities and reaches once unimaginable audiences, who unavoidably receive it according to their specific historical and cultural backgrounds.
The lyrics are in English, but with important Italo-American invasions. First of all, paisans in the second line. As the Urban Dictionary online explains, paisan is a word used with Italians or Italian Americans when they are informally, but in a friendly manner, addressing one another. It is the imperative first person plural form from the Neapolitan language, but it is misspelled. It should be written, and pronounced, with double mm , facimmela, but the phonemic distinction between m and mm is often missed by English speakers.
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Moreover, as in the preceding example, a rule of English grammar is easily applied to a foreign word. At any rate, the reference could hardly be more evident in a music video of the song accessible in SonicHits webpage . At the same time, its distance from the source song is equally stressed. New layers have been added. Such an articulate story of domestication, negotiation and difference is at this point intrinsically part of the substratum of the song and necessarily takes part in its ongoing migration. Many years later, the process of creative hybridization remains as strong as ever, opening unexpected and innovative sites of negotiation and collaboration.
Strictly speaking, Pino Daniele is no emigrant and is always aware of his deep personal links with his hometown, Naples. Yet his whole artistic quest is in a certain sense a never-ending migration, until his premature death in January Since his first album in , Pino Daniele has been a transnational artist, endlessly experimenting and exploring differences in music genres and rhythms, while always preserving its Neapolitan roots, or rather its South Mediterranean nature.
His privileged attention is to American music, music of Afro-American origins, rock, jazz, funky and above all blues. Even its lyrics are not translated. The admixture is easily perceivable in a music video . Pino Daniele is sitting and playing a guitar, accompanied by an assorted group of classic and ethnic instruments and musicians.
The economic use of instruments and a sober stage design create a deliberately less glamorous atmosphere. He thus offers a unique song, which is both homage to Elvis Presley and American blues as well as a powerful response and expression of resistance to Anglo-American mainstream music from this side of the Ocean. If code switching in a song is already a meaningful organizational and aesthetic device meant to achieve both localization and globalization Davies , in this song there is much more, from text and linguistic switching to cultural hybridization and artful music contamination.
The concept of transcultural intimacy , a collective intimacy beyond and across nations a main notion in Susam-Saraeva , opens new perspectives in this research. Among them, Mario Bellavista, a jazz pianist from Palermo, should be noted. Bellavista, who is a lawyer by profession, has recently recorded an album entitled O sole mio , which is also one of its eight tracks. In a video interview accessible online, Bellavista points out that the three American artists warmly welcomed his proposal and even actively contributed to the arrangements .
Bellavista moves around New York by car but he does not do the driving. So he can better observe and enjoy. Although he is often in the video, it is mostly his privileged perspective that guides the camera, which contributes to making these images so personal and incisive. New York was the port of arrival in the USA for so many Italian migrants and as such it certainly has an important symbolic value in the video. However, this jazz version looks back and forwards at the same time. Along the journey the song has taken on many more layers, opening to Afro-American rhythms and developing transcultural dimensions.
What we think to be very far, is very close to us, or even inside us at times. Thanks to Harvie, Jerry and Eric, who have helped me feel more Italian. It is an important admission of transcultural intimacy and an implicit acknowlegment of the creative value of translational hybridization. After all, it is its captivating passionate melody that has mostly driven the translational journey of the song, favouring the multifaceted encounters that mark out its exceptional progress. This opens broader contexts for research in popular song translation, while calling for more challenge-based approaches.
To start with, flexibility is paramount. This leads to a view of the journey as an ongoing process of translational development. Studying this progress as a translational continuum, rather than as a series of detached episodes of transformation, the article highlights the transcultural value gradually acquired by this popular song. The adage that music is a migrant art par excellence is fully confirmed, in all its implications, starting from its hybridizing potentialities and openness to the provocative and inspirational acts of cultural translation we have studied here. As we have seen, the so-called Neapolitan songs have vague origins and Naples itself has always given signs of being an open-air workshop on resistance and cultural hybridization Pesc and Stazio Researchers in popular song translation should be aware that monolithic notions such as authenticity and cultural specificity as well as musical genre do not easily engage with their research, as this exemplary story of popular song migration amply confirms.
Music and Cultural Translation Studies can be precious allies. Stronger contributions and greater contaminations from both study areas can be a way to go beyond traditional research-field boundaries, providing terrain for perspectives and innovative studies. However, we should be aware that high-level expertise and integrated competences in both Music and Cultural Translation Studies are highly desirable, but hard to find.
That's Italian. The Double Life of Veronique is the real thing, a deeply mysterious essay on self, fate and Irene Jacob squared. The music alone gives you the shivers. The Earrings of Madame de. It starts as comic intrigue, moves through high romance, and turns to tragedy. No one ever moved the camera better than Max Ophuls, or took so ambivalent a view of beauty.
One wonders why succeeding generations have bothered to try to match this glory.
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Alexander Dovzhenko was less a communist or a Soviet than a poet of the seasons and human renewal. This is the cinema of Vivaldi and Van Gogh. This one concerns the struggle between idealism and materialism. Monica Vitti and Alain Delon are the protagonists. He's a dealer on the exchange, and there are astonishing scenes of financial activity. But nothing matches the conclusion, when the characters fail to make a rendezvous and the camera helplessly notes the patience and perpetuity of life.
Mandatory viewing for everyone, not to mention any director blindsided by fame. Their films together are a meeting of old-fashioned romance and modern skepticism. In this one, Ingrid is a society wife whose child dies. She goes mad or is it sane? She becomes a saint and an outcast. A young woman, horribly disfigured in a car crash, becomes the obsession of her plastic surgeon father, who begins "borrowing" the faces off other young women and grafting them onto her. The face-peeling scene packs a visceral punch akin to the razor-slitting-the-eye image in Un Chien Andalou. Georges Franju's waking nightmare finds terrible beauty in unexpected places: caged animals awaiting vivisection, the wraithlike heroine sleepwalking in a featureless mask.
Fanny and Alexander , aka Fanny och Alexander , W. This luxuriously upholstered, three-hour-plus tour de force, Bergman's next-to-last, is both a summation of a career and the most user friendly film he ever made. Floating Weeds , aka Ukigusa or Drifting Weeds , directed by Yasujiro Ozu Director Yasujiro Ozu had one subject--people, or family which is to say, people seen through time.
He had one way of watching--at a distance, detached, attentive, respectful. There has never been a truer style, or one capable of seeing so much. Take a trip into Japanese cinema and you will never go back to the American with your old complacency and confidence. While Europe is hammered by the Second World War and grown-ups all around them seem petty and small, a newly orphaned, homeless young girl and a peasant boy find grace, beauty and solace in burying dead animals.
The Four Hundred Blows , aka Les Quatre Cents Coups , France, directed by Francois Truffaut Raw, unpolished, shot on the run and true to the bone, Francois Truffaut's autobio directorial debut is still the most desperate movie ever made about childhood. Gertrud , Denmark, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer In Carl Dreyer's last film, a married woman gives up her husband and a life of order for a younger man, a musician. It seems like just a small story, a women's picture of the sort that Joan Crawford made. But Dreyer sees the situation as a model for every drama of liberty and happiness.
In the end, as in the beginning, the great subject in movies is the human face as it begins to think and feel. He was also drawn to the subject of whether an artist or an actor can lead a real life--as opposed to following his calling. This is the enactment of those thoughts, with Anna Magnani as the woman in a troupe of traveling players, loved by so many, yet, finally, incapable of loving people as much as she loves her work. The Gospel According to St.
Ikiru , aka Doomed or To Live or Living , Japan, directed by Akira Kurosawa The word means "to live," but a petty bureaucrat discovers he is dying of cancer. He searches for company and meaning. This is somber, plain and everyday, but the realism is lit up by the performance of Takashi Shimura and the sympathy of director Akira Kurosawa. A movie to be seen after any one of those American epics involving massive, spectacular and inhuman slaughter.
He has done a murder. Because the world is rotten and hopeless.
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