Paola Gentile, Università degli Studi di Trieste

This lecture aims to investigate the image of the Low Countries spread in Italy through the translation of Dutch-language novels in the period 2000-2020. By combining the study of literary images within the framework of Imagology (Beller & Leerssen, 2007) and Translation Studies (Batchelor, 2018; van Doorslaer, Flynn & Leerssen, 2016), this contribution ranges from the sociological macro-level of the genesis of a translation (selection and reception) to the micro-level of textual analysis, in order to understand if and to what extent the selection, promotion and translation of literary works from Dutch into Italian contribute to creating or strengthening certain images associated with the Low Countries.

This contribution will first show the results of the interviews carried out with Italian literary translators, the Dutch and Flemish Literature Foundations and editors of Italian publishers. Subsequently, the paratexts of the Dutch-language novels published from 2000 to 2020 will be shown to provide an overview of the reception of Dutch-language literature in Italy. Finally, the textual images contained in a corpus of 50 Dutch-language novels translated into Italian in the period 2000-2020 will be discussed.


Batchelor, K. (2018). Translation and Paratexts. London/New York: Routledge.

Beller, M., & Leerssen, J. (2007). Imagology : the cultural construction and literary representation of national characters : a critical survey. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.

van Doorslaer, L., Flynn, P., & Leerssen, J. (Red.). (2016). Interconnecting Translation Studies and Imagology. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.