I have been interested in translation for as long as I have been in writing. Since I was a teenager, I have been trying my hand at translating poetry, mainly from English (with authors such as Keats, Dylan Thomas and W.B. Yeats among my favourites), but also from German and Latin. Among the translated books I have published are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Carlyle’s House by Virginia Woolf, The Rape of the Lock (and a Key to the Lock) by Alexander Pope and W.H. Auden’s Thank You, Fog.
Translation is still very important to me, and central to my publishing activities. My latest published book is a translation of Pope’s Perí Bathous and his Epistle to Arbuthnot in a volume called I bassifondi della poesia (Poetry’s Lowlife). I have recently completed a verse translation of Yeats’s collections The Tower and The Wild Swans at Coole. My translation of Auden’s The Age of Anxiety is forthcoming from Adelphi.
In 2010, I won the Premio Speciale di Monselice for my verse translation of Pope’s Rape of the Lock.
Translation – like writing – is a thankless task. However, I was very lucky to receive some critical appreciation for my efforts. The Sole 24 Ore said, of my first Pope translation, “Alessandro Gallenzi has heroically translated The Rape of the Lock in rhyming couplets for Adelphi … Chasing the translator’s ingenious linguistic somersaults… is one of those pursuits that can rightly be numbered, in absolute terms, among the greatest pleasures of life.” Il Corriere della Sera said, of my Auden translation, “Every new translation is like the momentary return to life of a poet we had lost. He gets an opportunity to speak again, and people flock to listen to him. In this case, the new translator is Alessandro Gallenzi, who offers to us – as if they were new – the poems Wystan Hugh Auden wrote during the last six months of his life – including the splendid one that – according to the poet’s wishes – would give the posthumous collection its title: Thank you, Fog.”