Never Felt So Good by Rossana Campo. Translation of Excerpt, with Critical Introduction
by Adria Frizzi
Over the past twenty years Rossana Campo has established herself as one of the most interesting authors in contemporary Italian literature. Her writing is characterized by its heavy reliance on the spoken register and focus on the female voice and experience. Never Felt So Good (1995) unfolds during a dinner party among girlfriends. In the course of the evening each woman recounts her amorous adventures among laughter, tears, and a few big surprises. This excerpt is the tail-end of Lucia’s story, detailing her conversations with three female neighbors who are the catalysts for her rebirth and the release of the long suppressed memory of her earlier free and rebellious self. The introduction to the excerpt discusses Campo’s treatment of the classic theme of patriarchal domination as well as additional issues linked to this topic relevant to translated texts: the well-known hierarchical distinction between source text and translation; the tendency to borrow the language of gendered stereotypes in discussions about translation; the “feminization” of the translator as submissive and self-effacing; and, finally, the politics of publishing, text reception and censorship.