Transformations of Montalbano through languages and media: Adapting and subtitling dialect in The Terracotta Dog

Dionysios Kapsaskis, Irene Artegiani

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This article will examine the Italian cultural phenomenon of Inspector Montalbano from the point of view of its linguistic and mediatic transformations. By adopting a comparative approach from the start, we will contrast aspects of the character of the eponymous hero as it is construed while reading the original Montalbano novels by Camilleri in Italian or in translation, and while watching the relevant TV series with or without subtitles. The theoretical concept underpinning our research will be that of a translation network, which comprises various forms of linguistic and mediatic transfer of the same cultural product. In order to focus more sharply on variations of character, a single angle, target language and storyline will be chosen, namely, the translation of Sicilian dialect in the English version of Il cane di Terracotta (2002), its adaptation for TV, and its English subtitles. This angle will allow us to discuss issues of authenticity and exoticism in translation that affect the readers’ or spectators’ perception of the hero’s character. Our main conclusion will be that the various character profiles of Montalbano cannot be synthesized into a single identity. Within the translation network, the fictional detective begins living almost independently from his creators, reflecting less the intentions of the original author than the priorities and concerns of those involved in the translations and adaptations of his work. © 2016, Taylor & Francis. The attached document (embargoed until 29/07/2017) is an author produced version of a chapter published in MEDIA ACROSS BORDERS: THE LOCALISATION OF AUDIOVISUAL CONTENT uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedia Across Borders: Localising TV, Film and Video Games
Subtitle of host publicationThe Localisation of Audiovisual Content
EditorsAndrea Esser, I. Smith, M. A. Bernal-Merino
PublisherRoutledge: Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315749983
ISBN (Print)9781138809451
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2016

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