Between Censorship and Innovation: The Translation of American Comics during Italian Fascism

Caterina Sinibaldi


This article outlines the main issues surrounding the process of import, translation and cultural adaptation of American comics in Italy from 1908 to 1942. During this time, the first comics were translated from Europe and the United States, leading to a revolution in Italian children’s literature. These were also the years in which comics began to be perceived as a political, as well as pedagogical problem, which prompted the Fascist regime to issue censorship measures aimed at limiting their circulation. The aesthetic and ideological dimension of comics will be investigated alongside the different strategies of translation and adaptation used by Italian editors and cartoonists. The reasons behind the disapproval of comics by Italian pedagogues, and the ambivalent attitude of the Fascist regime, will also be explored. In conclusion, my analysis aims to offer insights into the cultural function of children’s literature during Fascism and the specific role of comics as a site for innovation.


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Published by: Cardiff School of Modern Languages