William Wycherley for Italian Readers: a Comparative Analysis of Two Translations of The Country Wife


  • Michela Marroni Università degli studi della Tuscia




This article takes into consideration two Italian translations of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife, respectively by Masolino d’Amico (1993) and Loretta Innocenti (2009). Bearing in mind Lawrence Venuti’s theorisation based on the culturally dynamic relationship between domestication and foreignisation, my analysis focuses on some significant textual segments of the source text in order to verify their transcodification into Italian. On first reflection, both versions would not seem to be different in their effort to construe a target text at once equivalent and enjoyable. A closer look at the selected textual segments reveals that d’Amico’s method is tendentially faithful to the peculiar cultural framework of the comedy, whereas Innocenti’s translational leaning is for a modernisation which does its best to be as close as possible to the play’s puns, double entendres, racy humour as well as its rhetorical codes. In some cases, she introduces a few anachronistic words that are intended to be functional to an immediate comprehension on the part of the Italian reader. In this sense, the notion of the translator’s invisible hand is closer to Innocenti’s method, even though both versions are enjoyable and immediately understandable to an Italian reader.

Keywords: The Country Wife; Masolino d’Amico; Loretta Innocenti; comparative translation; translation strategies