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Translating Life
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Book description

This volume brings together eighteen substantial essays by distinguished scholars, critics and translators, and two interviews with eminent figures of British theatre, to explore the idea and practice of translation. The individual, but conceptually related, contributions examine topics from the Renaissance to the present in the context of apt exploration of the translation process, invoking both restricted and extended senses of translation. The endeavour is to study in detail the theory, workings and implications of what might be called the art of creative transposition, effective at the level of interlingual transcoding, dynamic rewriting, theatrical and cinematic adaptation, intersemiotic or intermedial translation, and cultural exchange. Many of the essays focus on aspects of intertextuality, the dialogue with text, past and present, as they bear on the issue of translation, attending to the historical, political or cultural dimensions of the practice, whether it illuminates a gendered reading of a text or a staging of cultural difference. The historic and generic range of the discussions is wide, encompassing the Elizabethan epyllion, Sensibility fiction, Victorian poetry and prose, modern and postmodern novels, but the book is dominated by dramatic or performance-related applications, with major representation of fresh investigations into Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream to The Tempest) and foregrounding of acts of self-translation on stage, in the dramatic monologue and in fiction. Contributions from theatre practitioners such as Sir Peter Hall, John Barton and Peter Lichtenfels underscore the immense practical importance of the translator on the stage and the business of both acting and directing as a species of translation.

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