Three Percent #186: Italian Science Fiction

In this special episode, Chad talks with Rachel Cordasco about a new Three Percent project focusing on translators as curators. Over the course of the next month, we’ll be posting a number of different types of posts—excerpts, profiles, readings, shorter podcasts, movie clips—using the five works of Italian science fiction Rachel selected as the starting point.

In case it gets lost in the podcast, here are the five books in Rachel Cordasco’s “Italian Science-Fiction Collection”:

Cancerqueen by Tommaso Landolfi (tr Raymond Rosenthal)(1971)
Storie naturali (1966, as by Damiano Malabaila) and Vizio di forma  (1971)

  • selections from both in The Sixth Day and Other Tales (tr Raymond Rosenthal, 1990)
  • full translations of these & all Levi titles in Complete Works of Primo Levi (2015), w/ the two collections above tr Jenny McPhee

Nexhuman by Francesco Verso (tr Sally McCorry) (2015)
Creative Surgery by Clelia Farris (tr Rachel Cordasco and Jennifer Delare) (2020)
Bug by Giacomo Sartori (tr Frederika Randall) (2021)

Stay tuned for more information about these titles and other related books.

This episode’s music is “Motherboard” by Daft Punk.

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One response to “Three Percent #186: Italian Science Fiction”

  1. Yishui Tian says:

    Dear host of Three Percent Podcast,

    It has always been good to hear more about stories that are underrepresented in English translations. Knowing that the famous science fiction Frankenstein is written in Europe and that Europe has been advanced in science, it is interesting to know how the European, especially Italian science fiction as introduced here, takes on the ethics and stories. I am awed that the authors’ “weirdness” in lives may be a part of their sci-fi creativeness. It is interesting that the writers are compared to canons of other non-English authors when they are put into praise. Therefore should we be concerned that translation is considered to be within its realm?

    As a student of philosophy, within which on self-recognition, I am intrigued by the possible harmfulness of science development. I do think that certain science fiction is proposing the dark path of science advancement. Regarding the possible educational effect of literature, I wonder when the authors choose which book to translate, will they be based on interest, moral takes, or marketability? I do think it could be better if we get to read different types of science fiction that the English science fiction landscape is not represented.

    I saw that this is the most recent episode of the three percent podcast. As a student of world literature, a reader of translation, a nonnative English user, and an aspiring translator, I would like to hear more from translators and more stories behind their working process along with their recommendations.

    Yours sincerely,

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