The Translations of James Joyce’s The Cat and the Devil in Italy
This article sets out to explore the dynamics through which Joyce’s version of the legend of the “devil’s bridge”, narrated in a letter addressed to his grandson, Stevie, entered the world of children’s literature in Italy. This occurred just after the legend’s publication in the USA and the UK under the title The Cat and the Devil. It was immediately turned into a picturebook, a sophisticated literary product aimed at very young readers. In fact, far from being a mere text for toddlers, the Italian Il gatto e il diavolo is at the centre of several intersemiotic and interlinguistic translations that enhance the interpretative potential and richness of Joyce’s narration, already at the crossroads between folkloric and modernist translation. The comparative analysis of three different Italian translations of the story expressly addressed to children (the first by Enzo Siciliano, published by Emme Edizioni in 1967; the second by Giulio Lughi for Edizioni EL in 1980; and the third and more recent one by Ottavio Fatica for ESG in 2010) has highlighted that the differences between them can be ascribed to distinct translation projects, aimed at building bridges between young readers and Joyce’s work in various periods of the history of the Italian literary market for children.