The art concealed: Translation as sprezzatura
In his influential treatise, The Book of the Courtier (1528), the Italian Renaissance writer Baldesar Castiglione introduces the fascinating concept of sprezzatura (translated as 'nonchalance' or even 'disdain'), which he urges the perfect courtier to practise in order to disguise his meticulous training and make his actions appear graceful and effortless. This essay applies the concept of sprezzatura to the sphere of translation in order to give a healthy twist to the notion of invisibility. Indeed, far from reflecting a humble acceptance of a marginal role or the refusal to acknowledge one's centrality and responsibility to the text, through sprezzatura invisibility becomes the effect of a skilful strategy whereby translators, unseen and therefore ever more in control, create an artful spontaneity, forging an artificial but seemingly natural connection between the audience and the truly invisible player-the author. Ultimately, sprezzatura allows translators to see themselves as consummate illusionists and promotes a translating style that, rather than chasing perfect equivalence and mourning losses, trusts the suggestive power of language to evoke the distant echoes of a foreign text.
Translation and literary studies: Homage to marilyn gaddis rose
Feltrin-Morris, Marella, "The art concealed: Translation as sprezzatura" (2014). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 855.