The paper is based on an ethnographic experience and narrates the story of how a process of translation takes possession of a research project originally entrusted to three young researchers. These are deceived on an island in the middle of the lagoon of Venice (“the ex lunatic asylum”, as somebody says to them in a quite facetious way the first time they go there), where they meet some “knowledge merchants ” who convince them in joining the business. From the beginning, it is clear that actors have different aims, but they all desire to get deeply involved in a process of knowledge construction. There is already an appearance of translation in the air, but the three researchers are not expertise enough to recognise it. As actors of the process, they believe they can manage it. The one who gets most into troubles is the ethnographer who, because of his passion in asking (himself) questions, begins suffering of a splitting of the personality and reports different fieldnotes about the same events, depending on the perspective he takes. Is the first one who clearly suffers of the process of translation, but nobod
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