Gifted in translation (4): Glorious Goldoni

The True Friend, by Carlo Goldoni, published by Sparkling Books

As I’ve been putting together the last few posts on books as Christmas gifts, it’s been a lovely surprise to discover so many publishing houses specialising in their own niche markets or in helping little-known authors get published. Sparkling Books:

are publishers of non-fiction and fiction.

Our series are:

  • Sparkling Perspectives – non-fiction
  • Sparkling Imaginations – fiction
  • Sparkling Revivals

Our aim is to give a voice to quality writing by authors ignored by larger publishers. We welcome new authors who have something worth saying and can say it well. But, above all, we want to give good new authors the chance of seeing their book in print.

In the Revivals category, Sparkling has recently published Carlo Goldoni’s The True Friend, in the original Italian version with the English parallel translated text. In his memoirs, Goldoni described the play as one of his favourites. The translation, by Anna Cuffaro,

has been acclaimed by Goldoni academics for brilliantly preserving the rhythm, humour and the fast pace typical of Goldoni’s dialogue.

This publication would make a great gift for students of Italian/English, for students of Goldoni and Italian theatre, or for theatre-lovers. Or for a true friend.

I lived in Italy for over 20 years, but the only recollection I have of seeing a Goldoni play performed was here in Glasgow, at the Citizens Theatre, during the glory years (more than 30 of them!) of the Triumvirate (Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse and Robert David MacDonald). Robert worked as a translator before moving to the Citz, where he translated several of Goldoni’s plays for the company. You can read more about his work on his Doollee page (what a fantastic resource!).

Wouldn’t it be lovely to see some enterprising theatre company stage The True Friend, or to see it used as a text book in schools’ Italian departments (are there any left)?

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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