Italy’s other Mafia

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Following its translation into more than thirty languages, Roberto Saviano&#8217;s non-fiction novel <i>Gomorrah</i> [<i>Gomorra</i>]<i>,</i> has unveiled to a vast number of readers across the globe the endless saga of Naples&#8217; crime syndicate, the Camorra (from which the book&#8217;s title derives its bitter play on words). Literary critics and reviewers in the UK and in the U.S. have widely acclaimed Saviano&#8217;s talent in depicting the corruption plaguing Naples&#8217; gloomy and degraded hinterland, although the sociocultural context portrayed in <i>Gomorrah </i>is naturally distant from the repertoire of the target culture: the text is widely populated by culture-bound concepts and implicit meanings, which further complicates the translation process. Through a contrastive analysis of the Italian and English versions of the expos&#233;, this study explores the strategies employed in translating the voices and deeds of Naples&#8217; mobsters, as well as the socioeconomic setting of the Camorra. With reference to types of non-equivalence between the two language versions, this article investigates to what extent the English translation contributes to the identity-building process of the Camorra as a separate and far more deadly criminal organization vis-&#224;-vis the Sicilian Mafia.


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