A delegation from Strade (http://www NULL.traduttoristrade NULL.it/), Italian member-association of CEATL, delivered to the Senate building in Rome over 70 books in translation for just as many Italian politicians on December 15, 2020. Along with the books was an open letter to the President of the Italian Republic and parliamentary institutions, calling for the creation of a national fund supporting translations (modelled after the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds (DÜF)). The signatories of the document include Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners and authors of bestsellers from Italy and around the world (find the full list of signatories here (http://www NULL.traduttoristrade NULL.it/2020/appello-fondo-per-i-traduttori-italiani/)).
“The health crisis is impacting a profession which is already struggling to survive,” Strade stated. “We would like to thank the institutions for their support during the COVID-19 crisis, but the perspective must now become structural and align Italy with Europe” (for previous landmark results of advocacy efforts by Italian translators and authors during the COVID-19 crisis see here).
This was therefore not a simple Christmas gift but a symbolic gesture to raise awareness among politicians: “Our profession is at risk,” Strade went on, “but without literary translations, numerous works fundamental not only to our culture but also to our society as a whole would be lost, and Italy as we know it would be culturally impoverished. According to Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk, reading foreign works is a vaccine against preconceived, misleading worldviews.”
The books selected and delivered included The Death of Jesus by John Maxwell Coetzee (translated by Maria Baiocchi) to President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella; Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (trans. Barbara Delfino) to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte; Kafka on the Shore by Murakami Haruki (trans. Giorgio Amitrano) to Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini; as well as My Name Is Not Miriam by Majgull Axelsson (trans. Laura Cangemi); The History of Bees by Maja Lunde (trans. Giovanna Paterniti); Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoj (trans. Claudia Zonghetti); A Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (trans. Cristina Proto) and many others.
The books were delivered in collaboration with the L’Altracittà independent bookshop in Rome.
More details in Italian here (http://www NULL.traduttoristrade NULL.it/2020/appello-fondo-strutturale-cs/).