Marina Bettaglio


“Translation, Intertextuality, and Creation: Natalia Ginzburg and Carmen Martín Gaite”

Acclaimed Spanish novelist Carmen Martín Gaite (1925-2000) was also a prolific literary critic, essayist, and translator. While the intertextuality of her novels and short stories has received ample academic attention, the interplay of her literary activity as a translator and cultural mediator has gone unnoticed, thus reaffirming the marginalization of translation within academic circles. The silence regarding Martin Gaite’s translations is all the more telling if we consider the extent of her achievements in that regard and the caliber of the novels she translated from English, French, and Italian. These include Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Italo Svevo’s Senilità, Primo Levi’s Il sistema periodico, C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and Natalia Ginzburg’s Caro Michele.  This paper aims to shed light on the complex relationship between translation and creation evident in Martín Gaite’s novel Nubosidad variable, which grows out of the author’s work as both translator and scholar of Ginzburg.


Marina Bettaglio is an associate professor in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Victoria. As a cultural comparativist, she focuses on contemporary Spanish and Italian cultural studies with a gender perspective. Her international educational background includes a Laurea in Lingue (Università di Genova, 110 e lode), an MA in Comparative Cultural Studies (Ohio State University) and a PhD in Hispanic Studies (SUNY Buffalo), coupled with studies in Spain, England, and Belgium. Her research interests comprise mothering studies, gender, media, and translation studies. She has written on high and popular culture, on canonical authors such as Lope de Vega, Pirandello, and Montale, and on contemporary Spanish, Puerto Rican, and Italian writers. She has published articles on Carme Riera, Almudena Grandes, Lucía Etxebarria, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Isabel García Zarza, and Massimo Carlotto. Her current research project focuses on the articulation of maternal figures within a postfeminist neoliberal paradigm.