Paola Gaudio

Published On


Page Range

pp. 184–207


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

2. Who Cares What Shape the Red Room is?

Or, On the Perfectibility of the Source Text

The aim of this essay is to identify patterns of textual variation that affect both the source text(s) and its translations. Starting with the substitution of the word ‘spare’ with ‘square’ in the ‘red-room’ episode, textual variations are analysed in a selection of English editions of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre published by prestigious publishing houses such as Collins, Harper, Oxford, Norton Critical, and Penguin―from the second half of the nineteenth-century to the most recent editions, including e-books (Amazon) and *.txt files (Project Gutenberg). Variations in English editions are compared against the original Brontë’s manuscript (1847) and tracked down in eleven Italian translations.


Paola Gaudio

Aggregate Professor of English Language and Translation at Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro

Paola Gaudio is Aggregate Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Bari Aldo Moro (Italy), where she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in English for Statistics. Her research interests range from nineteenth and twentieth century anglophone literature to translation theory and specialized languages. More recently, she has worked as Literary Translation expert for the European Commission, and as Quality Assurance expert for the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes. She enjoys approaching literary studies from a Digital Humanities perspective — which has led to the creation of visual representations of her findings, such as the emotional fingerprints of source and target texts, and 2D animations of prismatic scenes (‘Red-Room’ and ‘Shape’ in Jane’s bedroom passages).