Abstract: Giovanni Berchet’s first literary attempts were translations: Thomas Gray’s “Il bardo” and Oliver Goldsmith’s Il curato di Wakefield. The concept of a national identity that originates in the popular culture and language emerges in the peritexts of both works, nurturing Berchet’s ideas later exposed in his romantic manifesto Sul “Cacciatore feroce” e sulla “Eleonora” di Goffredo Augusto Bürger; Lettera semiseria di Grisostomo al suo figliuolo; and in Il Conciliatore. “Il bardo” is a response to both Vincenzo Monti’s Il bardo della selva nera and 18th-century theories on translations. In Il curato di Wakefield, Berchet uses a colloquial language that mediates the differences between source and target cultures, and which is inclusive of a diverse and growing audience. These two translations attest to Berchet’s new patriotic ideals and support to popular literature.
Keywords: Romanticism, Translation, National Identity, Pindaric Ode, Sentimental Novel, Berchet, Realism, Language.