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This article addresses the problems of the Italian translation of Philip Roth's American Pastoral by Vincenzo Mantovani. The theoretical backdrop against which the assessment is set concerns the novel's intentional system as David Herman interprets it in his "Narrative Theory and the Intentional Stance." Accordingly, the notion of "intentional equivalence" is proposed as a tool for comparing the original text and its translation. Well aware that the creation of effects starts at the lexical level, word choices at crucial textual junctures are examined, starting with the incipit and proceeding with pivotal moments in the first 90 pages of the book. These pages revolve around a very tight intentional construction depending on Zuckerman's immersion in the Swede's mystique and the consequent need for the narrator to write his story. The article demonstrates that because of inexplicable translation choices the Italian reader is inevitably led into a storyworld different from the original as far as focalizing perspective, ironic distance, and empathetic involvement are concerned.