“The Moon Boy” (“Ragazzo di Luna”) by Alexander Korotko in Italian: the synergy of images through the echo of language means
The translation of fiction is always in the realm of the intersection of two planes: linguistic and figurative, which are combined by the skill of the translator. In this process, he is involved in the author’s worldview and must reproduce images and ideas through the linguistic means of his cultural and linguistic system. Here the translator faces a number of difficulties and the problem of solving the most important question: whether there are untranslatable words, as well as finding ways out of a situation where you have to work with two different system languages. Of course, lexical meanings exist in the mind at the level of experience, as well as the ability to reproduce them by means of other languages. Reproduction of grammatical and syntactic structures is sometimes closed within the limits allowed by the internal structure of a particular language system.

The translation of Alexander Korotko’s work “The Moon Boy” into Italian combines two different linguistic and cultural plans, leaving the philosophical and psychological ideological core in the first place. The peculiarity lies in the essence of the language resources of the Italian language, which only in some places correlate with Russian (the language of the original work “The Moon Boy”) and involve the translator in the creative process, because the structure of Italian phrases, in which the noun precedes the adjective, the presence in the grammatical system of articles, which have content-forming function, a branched relative system of times that agree with each other in accordance with the linguistic and communicative situation, the peculiarities of the way of thinking, which are inherent only in native speakers of Italian language and culture, require the transformer to maneuver between the desire to preserve the author’s style and with it the lexical and syntactic author’s variants and to harmonize the author’s ideas with an understanding of their essence by representatives of another culture. Of course, in order to reconcile the two linguistic and cultural worlds as efficiently and not confusingly as possible, the author of the translation must naturally understand the mechanisms of functioning and influence of the chosen resources of the translated language on the reader, be a highly experienced specialist or native speaker.

The language of Alexander Korotko’s work combines standard and non-standard: conversational style with its simple lexical and syntactic maneuvers and aesthetic, detailed through the prism of internal perception original artistic constructions. For example: The immense, inflamed loneliness fed the ghostly voices of dreams at night, bringing down a miserable semblance of delirium on them. The joy of new shocks barbarously invaded the musty dwelling of consciousness. Memory led the pointer over the note-book of silence. (Tranl. La notte, la solitudine smisurata e sovraeccitata nutriva le voci spettralideimieisogni e leannegavainunaspeciedimiserevoledelirio. La gioia di nuove vibrazioni irrompeva barbaramente nell’angusta dimora della mia coscienza. La memoria passeggiava con il suo pointer sul pentagramma del silenzio.). The translator managed to reproduce the figurative picture, influencing the syntactic construction of the sentence-translation and resorting to the interpretation of the phrase “inflamed loneliness” as “lasolitudine…sovraeccitata”, feeling the desired shade of the meaning given by the author. 

Many sentences are aptly adapted to the way of thinking that is embedded in the resources of the Italian language and the techniques of their combination and use. For example: “The insight came very quickly” (transl. Benprestodunquemiresiconto della situazione.); She may be compared with roller coaster (transl. Lasipotrebbe paragonare allemontagnerusse.); She dialed phone number and, without giving herself up, blurted out… (transl. Composi il suonumero e senzaconcedermitempoperpensare, dissiinaridomonotono…); What did I just blur out? (Che cos’avevo detto ?); I lit a cigarette  (Transl. Miaccesiunasigaretta.) etc.

In the style of the translator there is a noticeable favorable attitude to the antonymous constructions during the reproduction of the Italian text. For example: Such information could be obtained only from two sources: directly from the firm by bribery of the relevant employees or from the special services. (Transl. Non sarebbe stato possibile ottenere queste informazioni che in due modi : o direttamente dalla società stessa, corrompendo il personale competente, o facendo ricorso ai servizi segreti.); He really loved only two things: big cities and intrigue. (Transl. Non amava veramentecheduecose: legrandicittà e gliintrighi.); But all these ups and downs were more emotional in nature. All this was deep inside and did not concern the material side of life. (Trasl. Le salite e le discese non erano di natura emotiva. Era uno stato mio, che non aveva alcun rapporto con i problemi concreti); But it turned out to be an illusion (Transl. … ma non era che un’illusione.); Our aquaintance with you two days before his death is just pure coincidence (Transl. Il nostro colloquiodue giorni prima della suamortenonfuchepuracoincidenza.); I had just one desire – to join to this torture as soon as possible and torture, mercilessly torture my insignificant body. The only thing I wanted was oblivion (Transl. Non avevo che un desiderio : consegnarmi il più presto possibile a questo supplizio per torturare senza pietà il mio corpo infame. Nondesideravoaltrochescomparirenell’oblio) etc. The construction of a non + verb in combination with a conjunction is a typical emphatic structure in Italian.

“The Moon Boy” – a work without names, the characters are not named by the author and there is an ideological content. The linguistic resources of the Italian language make it possible to fully distinguish between the masculine and the feminine according to the person who is the performer of the action, and this typological feature is aptly used by the translator. Common proper names are very eloquent, and their translation is carried out in accordance with established tradition, taking into account their international use and international significance. For example: Yes, I’m talking about my beloved Dante, about the circles of hell. Although, they say, they do not return from there. But this is not the case. After all, you have returned. Here we sit and talk. (Transl. Ma di Dante, che amo tanto, dei cerchi dell’inferno. Si dice che non si faccia ritorno da lì, ma non è vero perché tu sei tornata dall’inferno e noi siamo qui a chiaccherare tranquillamente.); I have no doubt that you have read Thomas Mann.(Transl. Sono sicuro che Lei ha letto Thomas Mann). A separate group consists of biblical proper names, very eloquent in their meanings and interpretations, which are translated in accordance with established tradition, as well as using transcoding, such as: Every day he went to work as if to Calvary  (Transl. Ogni giorno si recavaallavorocomesicorrealGolgota); “Don’t turn around, I said to myself, otherwise you’ll turn into a pillar of salt”. This is Sodom and Gomorrah  (Transl. «Non voltarti, mi dicevo, per non diventare una statua di sale». Sì, sì, Sodoma e Gomorra); For them this ascent was just a pleasure walk, but for me it turned out to be an insane test, a complete exhaustion of strength and nerves, a pure Calvary (Transl. Per loro era un evento piacevole, mentre per me era una prova folle, che avrebbe comportato lo sfinimento totale e il massacro dei miei nervi, un vero Golgota). Such biblical names were translated, as for example: I fought myself  like Jacob with an angel (transl. Lottavo contro me stessa come Giacobbe contro l’Angelo); Before me stood a man whose loneliness was of incredible proportions and correlated with mine, like Goliath with David (transl. Le nostre solitudini non si misuravano che nelle proporzioni di un Davide (la mia solitudine) contro Golia (la sua); Not even a parable, but true story about Josef and his brothers (transl. Non è in realtà unaparabola, bensì una storia verasuGiuseppe e suisuoifratelli). Biblical images and the mention of Dante facilitate the intercultural decoding of this artistic text.

In translation, we trace the allusion to Bulgakov “Master and Margarita”: The disease is an imperious and capricious queen, she does not wait for her to be called, she comes by herself, with her cooks, doctors, pharmacists. Your “I” turns into a pitiful, defenseless creature, willing to satisfy her every whim. Imagine that you, for example, will begin to manage, dispose of others and yourself, in general, so to speak, get a taste, and suddenly you … cough … cough … lung sarcoma …; – here the foreigner smiled sweetly, as if the thought of a lung sarcoma gave him pleasure, – yes, sarcoma, – squinting like a cat, he repeated a sonorous word, – and now your control is over! You are no longer interested in anyone’s fate, except for your own. Relatives begin to lie to you, you, sensing something amiss, rush to the trained doctors, then to charlatans, and sometimes to fortune-tellers. Both the first and the second, and the third are completely meaningless, you yourself understand. And all this ends tragically: the one who until recently believed that he was in control of something suddenly turns out to be lying motionless in a wooden box, and those around him, realizing that there is no sense in recumbent there, burn him in the oven.

Thus, we believe that the translation of Aleksander Korotko’s “Moon Boy” into Italian is a successful attempt for the Italian reader to interpret the post-Soviet realities of the 1990s of the past century, to adapt special stylistic markers to the new linguistic and cultural code.