The ‘Einaudi libel’: A battle of translations in the Cold War


  • Fruela Fernández Newcastle University (UK) / Universidad Complutense (Spain)


Francoism, Italian anti-Francoism, history of translation, politics of translation, activism


This article takes as its starting point the Francoist ban of the songbook Canti della Nuova Resistenza Spagnola (Songs of the New Spanish Resistance, 1962) and the subsequent press campaign against its publisher (Giulio Einaudi) and compilers (the musicians Sergio Liberovici, Michele Straniero, and Margot Galante Garrone). Placing the Canti at the heart of a wider propaganda battle between Francoism and Italian anti-Francoist forces in the early 1960s, this article carefully reconstructs a transnational and multilingual network of anthologies and hybrid publications in which translation played a decisive role. Thus, the article illuminates the contribution of translation to the propagandist strategies of Francoists and anti-Francoists, as well as the ideological and historical ‘narratives’ (in the sense proposed by Baker 2006) supported by these translation practices. Finally, the article shows how translation strategies played a central role in the articulation of opposing, yet mutually interdependent narratives in the battle between Francoists and anti-Francoists, which were based on radically different understandings of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.