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Performing Translation

Littau, Karin (1993) 'Performing Translation.' Theatre Research International, 18 (1). 53 - 60. ISSN 0307-8833

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Abstract

Both actor and translator, and by extension translation and performance suffer the plight of second hand art. Disloyal to their original masters they commit adultery. Thus, translation and performance become the unfortunate bastards of literature. If translation is meant to overcome the difference between itself and its other, performance is accused of playing it out and playing up. Such is the attitude which both have shared in each of their respective literary histories. The emphasis here is on literary history, for it assumes the tyranny of the text, the sacredness of the word. The quest for the origin, the reconstruction of the original greatness will always follow the linear path to the bastardized version, towards its own inferiorization. Precisely because translation and performance share this secondary status, this paper will adopt the metaphor of translation and adapt it to describe the relationship between text and performance. Translation here will be taken as that process which underlies any meaning production; it will not be reduced to a merely linguistic motion, nor seen in the form of an obvious reduplication, but as a complex interrelation between two elements. We will thus examine the translatory processes between text and performance before exposing the most illegitimate member in this affair: the translated dramatic text.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Karin Littau
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2016 20:44
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 17:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15156

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