The Construction of Generic Identity in the Italian Translated Titles of Anglo-American Science Fiction
Science fiction is a foreign genre within the Italian literary tradition, to the extent that ever since it was ‘imported’ in Italy in the early 1950s, translations from English have been the main form through which SF has circulated in Italy in the following decades. Such translations were initially published in popular book series that highlighted the most escapist and colourful elements of the genre. In the 1970s, however, there was an attempt to ‘revise’ it, toning down science fiction’s popular roots and employing discursive strategies more typical of canonical literature. Paratexts played a key role in relation to this re-articulation of a popular genre. Titles, cover illustrations and advertising blurbs, all contributed to offering a new representation of science fiction, more sophisticated from a literary point of view but also with more generic constraints. This paper will analyse the presentational strategies employed in these new ‘revised’ versions of science fiction, focusing in particular on the translation of titles and the way in which they rebuilt different generic borders.