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Enter Lear - ebook/pdf
Enter Lear - ebook/pdf
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Wydawca: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego Język publikacji: Angielski
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Autorka stawia przed sobą ciekawe zadanie prześledzenia polskich przekładów Szekspirowskiego Króla Leara pod kątem strategii tłumaczenia, ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem specyfiki elżbietańskiego kodu teatralnego (inscenizacyjnego). Opierając się na wybranych tłumaczeniach przedstawia nie tylko modyfikacje lub pominięcia pierwotnych rozwiązań scenicznych, lecz również sposób, w jaki przekład dokonany w innej epoce i kulturze, dostosowuje tekst do konkretnych konwencji scenicznych oraz aktualnych preferencji interpretacyjnych. Pojmowany w ten sposób tłumacz staje się niejako pierwszym reżyserem przedstawienia, który rzeźbiąc w słowie, modyfikuje relacje osób i rzeczy, i tym samym współtworzy kolejne inscenizacje sztuki. Omówione zostały przekłady Jana Nepomucena Kamińskiego, Józefa Paszkowskiego, Macieja Słomczyńskiego i Stanisława Barańczaka, wybrane spośród innych głównie ze względu na liczne, bądź znaczące realizacje sceniczne.

Praca w języku angielskim.

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What part did translators play in the Polish history of Shakespeare translations? Did they look to Shakespeare only or lean towards the theatre by supplying scripts rewritten for their own time? Did they act as prompters, whispering words into the ears of the actors, or command the stage themselves to tamper with Elizabethan designs? The intricacies of the Polish theatrical reception of King Lear, his triumphs, disappearances and spectacular comebacks, make the play a particularly interesting choice for investigating the relationship between translation and performance. Thus the stage history of the play runs parallel to the efforts of its translators: Jan N. Kaminski, Jozef Paszkowski, Maciej Slomczynski, Stanislaw Baranczak. What did they owe to Shakespeare, and what does our Shakespeare owe to them?

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LEAR-ok.ok 1/7/08 11:01 Page 1 A n n a C e t e r a E N T E R L E A R WWhhaatt ppaarrtt ddiidd ttrraannssllaattoorrss ppllaayy iinn tthhee PPoolliisshh hhiissttoorryy ooff SShhaakkeessppeeaarree ttrraannssllaattiioonnss?? DDiidd tthheeyy llooookk ttoo SShhaakkeessppeeaarree oonnllyy oorr lleeaann ttoowwaarrddss tthhee tthheeaattrree bbyy ssuuppppllyyiinngg ssccrriippttss rreewwrriitttteenn ffoorr tthheeiirr oowwnn ttiimmee?? DDiidd tthheeyy aacctt aass pprroommpptteerrss,, wwhhiissppeerriinngg wwoorrddss iinnttoo tthhee eeaarrss ooff tthhee aaccttoorrss,, oorr ccoommmmaanndd tthhee ssttaaggee tthheemmsseellvveess ttoo ttaammppeerr wwiitthh EElliizzaabbeetthhaann ddeessiiggnnss?? 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Anna Cetera has shown remarkable ease in dealing with complex translation, li- terary, cultural and textual issues... It is a work of scholarly competence, which has been based on the author’s detailed knowledge of critical literature, appropriate choice of methodological tools, and – or in fact mainly – her historical and literary expertise, as well as analytical skills. It is a highly original book, which brings to the discipline a new methodological model, along with a multitude of literary and cultural insights. (Prof. Jerzy Limon, excerpts from his review of the book) I know no other study which deals in an equally conscious, comprehensive and interesting manner with translation theory in the Polish practical context... this has been achieved through the author’s use of excellently chosen examples from the Polish history of Shakespeare’s plays, especially that of King Lear.The book also reflects a very popular, worldwide trend in interpreting and constituting the meaning of Shakespeare on the basis of national appropriations of his works, which elucidate the complexities of cultural exchange and examine the structured field shaping our understanding and enhancing our awareness of the multiple aspects of global civilization. (Prof. Krystyna Kujawiƒska-Courtney, excerpts from her review of the book) Anna Cetera is Assistant Professor in the Institute of English Studies at the University of Warsaw. She has published on historical and ideological aspects of the Polish reception of Shakespeare in academic journals and thematic volumes. Cena 39 z∏ ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Anna Cetera ENTER ENTER LEAR LEAR The Translator’s Part in Performance ENTER LEAR str. tyt. 12/14/07 11:04 Page 1 ENTER LEAR ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== ENTER LEAR str. tyt. 12/14/07 11:04 Page 2 Anna Cetera ENTER LEAR The Translator’s Part in Performance ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Reviewers Krystyna Kujawińska-Courtney Jerzy Limon Cover design Zbigniew Karaszewski Commissioning Editor Maria Szewczyk Copy Editor and Technical Assistant Aniela Korzeniowska Production Editor Zofia Kosińska Typesetting and index Dariusz Dejnarowicz Published with the financial support of the Rector and the Institute of English Studies at the University of Warsaw © Copyright by Warsaw University Press 2008 © Copyright by Anna Cetera 2008 ISBN 978-83-235-2922-4 (PDF) Warsaw University Press 00-497 Warsaw, ul. Nowy Świat 4 http://www.wuw.pl; e-mail: wuw@uw.edu.pl Commercial Division: Tel. (00 48) 22 55 31 333 e-mail: dz.handlowy@uw.edu.pl Internet sale: http://www.wuw.pl/ksiegarnia First edition ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Acknowledgments In the course of writing this book I have incurred many debts, none of which can be adequately repaid. My work was inspired in particular by the late Prof. Henryk Zbierski, who was solely responsible for arousing my interest in Shakespeare. I would also like to acknowl- edge my special debt of gratitude to Mrs Leonarda Zbierska for her kindness, advice and genuine interest in my work. My thanks are also due to the reviewers, Prof. Krystyna Kujawińska-Courtney and Prof. Jerzy Limon, as well as to Prof. Emma Harris, Prof. Alicja Pisarska, Prof. Jacek Fabiszak, and Dr Gerald Nawrocki who, at various stages and in a variety of ways, offered their invaluable support and criticism necessary to proceed with the project. I am also very grateful to Mrs Krystyna Waloszczyk for her consent to use Mariusz Stachowiak’s pictures. Most of all I would like to thank my friend and editor of the present volume, Dr Aniela Korzeniowska, whose generous and round- the-clock assistance went far beyond what one can reasonably expect from friends and editors. Last but not least, I would like to thank Małgosia, Krzysztof and Maciej. They all have my gratitude and love. – 5 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Parts of this book, in Polish or in English, have been previously published in the following volumes: PASE Papers in Literature, Language and Culture (1998), eds. Edmund Gussmann and Bogdan Szymanek; Z badań nad literaturami europejskimi. Księga poświę- cona pamięci prof. dr hab. Henryka Zbierskiego (1999), eds. Jacek Fabiszak and Jerzy Świdziński; Tradition and Postmodernity: English and American Studies and the Challenge of the Future (2000), ed. Elżbieta Mańczak-Wohlfeld; PASE Papers in Literature and Culture (2000), ed. Ewa Kębłowska-Ławniczak; Przekładając nieprzekładalne (2000), eds. Wojciech Kubiński et al.; Approaches to Literature 1 (2001), ed. Grażyna Bystydzieńska; and in Poznańskie Studia Poloni- styczne (1999), thematic issue Barańczak – poeta lector VI (XXVI). Warsaw, 2007 ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Chapter 1 Literature in Translation: Altering the Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Chapter 2 Theatre within Drama: Mapping the Imaginary Spaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Chapter 3 Drama Translation Analysis: Setting the Ground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Chapter 4 Jan Nepomucen Kamiński: The Clash of Aesthetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Chapter 5 Józef Edmund Paszkowski: Making the Literary Canon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 – 7 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Chapter 6 Maciej Słomczyński: Remaking the Literary Canon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Chapter 7 Stanisław Barańczak: Towards Metatranslation? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178 Concluding Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Introduction Drama begins with the entry of a character. The exposition of King Lear is a frantic piece of action, featuring the irrational fury of a senile monarch who, with a single blow, destroys his kingdom, his family, and his friends. Viewed from the contemporary perspective, Lear’s fatal rage is a fact of the play the audience knows well enough before it begins. And yet, there is a new and genuine tension in the way we watch Lear’s entry. For it is a gripping view, like the sight of a convict the moment before the loop will crush his throat, a fascination our civilization may enhance, not eradicate. Thus, Lear rushes towards his death from the moment he walks onto the stage. An yet, typically Shakespearean, his entry is a textual variant, a choice left to the editor, or, possibly, the translator. Accordingly, Lear may come onto the stage alone, as in the Folio, or may be preceded by “one bearing a coronet” (1.1.31), as in the Quarto version of the play.1 The coronet is an important piece of property: if he brings it now, it will only increase 1 All quotations from King Lear are based on the Arden Shakespeare edition by R. A. Foakes (1997), unless indicated otherwise. Fragments originating exclusively in the Folio or Quarto version of the play are marked by the letters “F” and “Q” in the upper script. – 9 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear the pressure on Cordelia, if he brings it later, it will become yet another gesture to seal his verdict, and antagonize his heirs. “This coronet part between you” (1.1.40), says Lear to Albany and Cornwall, pervasively echoing Solomon’s wisdom when he probed the honesty of two women by ordering to cut in two a child both claimed their own. The manner of Lear’s entry is meaningful because it helps us to understand who he used to be before he decided to become nobody. But enter is a transparent word, it calls for action, at the same time not offering any clues as to the way it should be performed. It is a mutation, via French, of the Latin verb intrare, or still deeper, though perhaps more obvious, the preposition inter denoting the space in between, within, inwards. Its long forgotten use as a prefix still resounds in words such as enterprise or, fittingly enough, entertain- ment. Therefore, enter has a history behind it, and also has its heyday now, when we validate most of our consents by pressing enter. In the plays, however, enter always figures in the third person imperative, singular and plural, thus emphasizing the truly commanding nature of stage directions. For an actor, enter is like the Rubicon, dividing the on and off-stage world, forcing them to move forward and plunge into fiction, in full view of the audience. To watch this transition is an exclusive privilege of the theatre. In the cinema, the camera usually cuts to the inside, revealing the characters already settled down in whatever space they were supposed to enter. The word also undergoes a heavy test in translation, when its conventional neutrality may be moulded by inflection and charged with more suggestive semantics. In Polish, Lear wchodzi (“comes in”), thus the spatial dimension of enter, yields to the emphasis on movement, human movement in particular. Given its paradigmatic neighbourhood, there is a tint of dignity in the word, for those who come in do not rush, dash, or stagger onto the stage. In a compulsive, routine response to words, we imagine those who come in better than those who are to enter, though naturally we have also learned to suppress our associations when it is necessary. How much of this imagination, let loose or bridled, can be translated? Perhaps it is this enormous complexity of the translation process that has led to the paradox of Translation Studies. For years academic interest in translation had been perceived either as a branch of applied – 10 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Introduction linguistics or associated with comparative literature. In both cases there was a predominance of prescriptive models of translation with an underlying assumption that translation is, and should be, a transfer of stable meaning. As a result, critical interest found its expression in proliferating comparisons of source versus target texts. These com- parisons were performed according to some arbitrarily established criteria of equivalence and based on the conventional source text exegesis. With the emergence of Translation Studies as an independent field, academic interest shifted to more target-oriented approaches and, eventually, to the very process of translating and the supposed norms governing the translator’s behaviour. The nebulous criterion of faithfulness versus unfaithfulness used for distinguishing appro- priate from inappropriate renderings has been finally replaced by the notion of translational ethics, which builds on the plurality of concepts of equivalence. Another feature of Translation Studies is the impression of syn- cretism. Given the variety of source materials subject to translation and the complexity of the processes of transfer of meaning, research in this area, if it is to be incisive, has to draw on the conclusions of related disciplines. Indeed, extending its insights beyond linguistics and literature, the discipline has accepted a broader sociocultural perspective and approached the field of semiotics, sharing its funda- mental interest in all cultural processes with a particular focus on processes of communication and systems of codification.2 However, the essential openness and dynamics of the discipline has led to the development of a set of related theories rather than a comprehensive theory of translation. If openness proves stimulating, plurality of ap- proaches posits also the risk of chaos. It is, however, the very eclectic nature of Translation Studies which makes the discipline capable of approaching domains as different as interpreting, machine translation and, last but not least, the vast area of literary translation. Due to the aesthetic value, semiotic richness and availability of large corpuses of translated texts, the field of literary translation3 2 For the epistemological dimension of semiotics see Eco (1976: 8). 3 Following Toury (1995: 168-9) literary translation is understood as the translation of texts which are regarded as literary in the source culture and the translation of any texts in such a way that they are received as literary in the recipient culture. – 11 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear appears to be one of the most rapidly developing branches of Trans- lation Studies. Needless to say, the rewriting of literature stimulates research but it also generates emotional responses from translators, readers, critics and, a phenomenon which is nowadays becoming more and more frequent, authors. In no other case is the question of what constitutes and what does not constitute meaning, as well as what enhances and what does not enhance aesthetic value, so much con- tested. Hence, the relation between form and function becomes critic- ally important to the success of a translation. Indeed, some of the most engaging analyses conducted within the descriptive framework of Translation Studies have aimed at identifying the translator’s manoeuvres between retaining features of the source text, and adjusting them to the requirements of the target culture. The tension between the inherent logic and aesthetics of the source text and the shaping pressure of the receiving system is particularly conspicuous in the case of drama. With the exception of closet drama, plays are received both as self- contained literary texts and as theatrical playscripts.4 Hence, the na- ture of requirements imposed on drama, and accordingly on transla- tions of drama, is essentially heterogeneous, i.e. literary and theatrical. Drama, as a literary discourse, fulfils a referential role by telling a story set within an imaginary context of there-and-then. Yet, unlike other genres, drama is also predisposed towards the performant function, i.e. towards enactment of the story within a framework of a concrete stage. The essence of drama lies in the way it provides for theatrical dimension. The dramatic text foreshadows theatrical enactment due to the presence of a multitude of (in)direct hints which are developed subsequently into relevant features of performance. Thus, setting, properties, gestures and movements as well as facial expression are 4 There have been certain attempts to abandon the traditional division into literary vs. theatrical approaches to drama in contemporary drama theory (cf. Pfister 1988: 6-7). Yet, preserving the distinction between literary and theatrical reception, and even more so, between the dramatic text (referred to also as a literary, fixed or verbally stable text) vs. performance (understood as a multimedial presentation of the dramatic text, and roughly equivalent to the testo spactaccolare, mise-en-scène, performance text), seems convenient when it comes to discussing the mechanisms and principles of the passage from page to stage. In the present study the term text will always refer only to the verbal text of the play. – 12 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Introduction determined by the presence of implicit and explicit stage directions and derived from the illocutionary force of utterances. The built-in component of nonverbal codes is adjusted to the codification systems (stage conventions) and technical properties (the use of acting area, availability of stage effects, etc.) of the stage for which the play is en- visioned. The pitfalls of translating drama begin with the translator realising that the stage for which the play was written differs substan- tially from the stage which is to host the translation of the play. Juxtaposing the conditions of the original stage with those of the target place of enactment brings out the never solved issue of form versus function. Adherence to the original modes of representation revives the flavour of the epoch, yet it may also prove misleading or all-in-all meaningless for the contemporary audience. On the other hand, achieving equivalent theatrical effect requires adopting current theatrical standards, and may entail brutal intrusions into the matrix of the text. Naturally, the discord between the way in which a given play was envisioned and the way it is going to be performed once it is translated may vary in degree. Thus, not all nonverbal components find their way into the dramatic text, and not all directors feel bound by what the text seems to imply. A well-made play, however, inte- grates all levels of theatrical communication and, often enough, achieves it by multiplying references to nonverbal codes. These re- ferences, themselves derived from a certain concept of theatre, take an active part in shaping the conditions of future performance. In many cases it is up to the translator to decide whether they will be accepted as natural, perceived as fossilized remnants of some by-gone theatrical conventions, or, given their ambiguity, encourage alternative stagings. Aware of the complexity of the processes of construction of meaning, the translator cannot remain completely neutral. Whether willingly or not, the translator finds himself in the po- sition of a director. The translated text includes features testifying to the workings of the shaping power of the stage for which it has been written. This shaping power is constituted by a complex codifi- cation system which, ideally, should be shared by those involved in the creation, enactment and reception of a play. The very necessity of translation means that such a unity no longer exists. To the contrary, the ways of generating meaning and enhancing aesthetic pleasure differ as much as the physical properties of the Elizabethan wooden o differ – 13 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear from the conventional box-frame stage and, incidentally, as much as the latter differs from the modern cinema screen. Similarly, there are differences between spectators packed onto the galleries, seated in the comfortable seclusion of velvet armchairs, and those forcing their way to chairs in darkened cinema halls. In these circumstances, how should the translation be conducted so that the target text generates identical nonverbal codes? Or, perhaps, should the text generate nonverbal codes whose function will be equivalent to the function of nonverbal codes in the original play? Should the text be stripped of references to outmoded conventions or, perhaps, retain the features which decide about the uniqueness of its linguistic and dramatic make- up? And, finally, should the translator, aware of the essential ambiguity of the text, avoid double meaning and strive to render a coherent vision of the play or, alternatively, preserve the plurality of meanings? These and similar questions call for a recourse to concrete examples. The following lines, quoted from the Quarto and Folio version of the play, come from one of the final scenes of King Lear. A naive spectator is likely to accept the scene as a happy ending, in which case the play would close with a long-awaited image of re- conciliation and forgiveness. Indeed, the full impact of the benediction scene can be appreciated only if the scene is juxtaposed with the opening scene in which Lear banishes Cordelia for her refusal to make a public profession of filial love. The parts in the division scene, like the shares in the kingdom, are precisely assigned. It is Cordelia’s refusal to participate in a public show of emotions which arouses Lear’s rage. Angered and humiliated, he turns against his daughter, and they both leave the stage hurt. But the vicissitudes of fate teach them to compromise. When Lear awakens from a long, healing sleep, he finds Cordelia at his side. Cordelia’s plea for benediction opens one of the most moving Shakespearean scenes. This time, however, it is she who initiates the action and gives directions for a public show of unmatched emphatic appeal: O look upon me, sir, And hold your hands in benediction o’er me! QNo, sir,Q you must not kneel. (4.7.57-9)5 5 I have omitted all non-authorial stage directions here to underscore the theatrical dimension of the primary text. – 14 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Introduction On the bare Elizabethan stage, the emblematic quality of the reunion of father and daughter grips the audience’s attention, half eclipsing other players. Words, pregnant with emotions, impose stage action. However, though the text refers clearly to a ritual of gestures and movements, the implicit stage directions remain contradictory or imprecise. Does Cordelia kneel for benediction in the way it was done in earlier versions of the play? Does Lear kneel, or just intend to do so? If so, does Lear kneel when he recognizes Cordelia or when she, also kneeling, asks for a blessing which she was denied at the outset of the play? Does Cordelia try to keep the king from kneeling or, perhaps, helps him to rise? The vicissitudes of textual history blur- red the clarity of Shakespeare’s designs, and the Folio-Quarto varia- tions gave grounds for further confusion. Does Cordelia keep addres- sing Lear with the formal “Sir”, or, moved by his devastation, turn to a more intimate “you”. Is her speech a gentle persuasion or strict injunction? Is it proclaimed openly or whispered hastily to spare the father humiliation in front of all the French court? The paradigm of options derived from the text testifies to the fundamental role that the dramatic text fulfils in creating the conditions of staging. Being one of many elements of theatrical polyphony, it initiates and in- spires other non-linguistic signs which eventually, given the appeal of visual art, may surpass in importance the verbal component. For all that, the text remains the matrix of the scene, even though the call for action may be imprecise, and leave the door open for alternative stagings. Translators are left to their own devices when groping through this sphere of uncertainty. Though the process of drama translation apparently does not change the medium, it affects the way in which the text will generate non-linguistic signs of performance. Again, the issue is by no means confined to the question of whether Lear indeed kneels down or only intends to do so. What is in question is rather the mood of the scene, ranging from courtly formality to moving intimacy. It concerns also a broader issue of the evolution of the main characters. The visual image of Lear’s humble penance at the feet of his daughter seems to constitute the emotional core of the scene. But is also Cordelia learning how to express her feelings, lavishly offering love and support which she refused to offer in the opening – 15 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear scene? The translations of Cordelia’s lines may encourage different stagings. Similarly, the perlocutionary effect of those lines may be different when they are delivered from the stage. Translation of drama never occurs across mere linguistic barriers. The formal and functional shifts perpetuated by translators may result from their well-motivated decisions, but they may also result from their inability to retain in the target text the same proportion of ambiguity and clarity which in- forms the original. In other words, the process of translation appears to be inseparably bound with manipulation. The notion of translation as manipulation of literature has become the cornerstone of Translation Studies. The manipulative nature of the translation process makes the translators respond to a variety of factors ranging from the expectations of the literary milieu to the demands of the popular audience. Though market profitability often turns out to be more powerful than refined aesthetic concepts, it is the adherence to the latter that opens the way to literary canons. How- ever, in the case of drama, the nebulous horizon of expectations of the receiving culture yields to the shaping power of the stage, which constitutes the immediate receiving system. The stage imposes, some- what independently, its own requirements resulting from its current technical properties as well as the prevailing theatrical conventions, both of which jointly contribute to the translator’s ultimate vision of the play. The translator may choose to adjust the play to contemporary theatrical standards or, alternatively, neglect them and adhere to the theatrical vision of the original. Taking into consideration the dual, literary and theatrical, reception of a work of drama, both strategies find substantial vindication. However, acceptance within one do- main is by no means tantamount to acceptance in the other. To the contrary, canonized works are often rejected by the stage, and plays enjoying box-office success are deemed worthless by the high-brow literary establishment. Yet, not all translations of plays show consistent preference for the requirements of a concrete form of theatre. Even a cursory look at the sphere of nonverbal codes, a component most sensitive to the shaping power of the stage, reveals hesitation or misunderstanding and, which is surprisingly common, a desperate search for middle-of- the-road solutions. These translations become battlegrounds of op- – 16 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Introduction posing theatrical conventions. Indeed, given the disappearance of the common code shared by authors, actors and audience, the task of translating drama turns out to be particularly challenging. This chal- lenge becomes enhanced when it is Shakespeare who becomes the subject of rewriting. The histories of translating Shakespeare into various languages bear witness to numerous clashes between the shaping power of the Elizabethan stage and the requirements of the stages on which Shakespeare was to appear. The reasons underlying substantial modifications of Elizabethan masterpieces ranged from aesthetic, such as the Neoclassical requirements of the three unities, to purely practical such as the necessity of limiting the number of changes of locale which could not be accommodated by the nineteenth century realistic theatre, for example. The quality and type of translations of Shakespeare was also determined by the position which Shakespeare occupied in the canon. A high position in the canon has usually entailed reverence and tolerance for distant conventions and, conse- quently, has encouraged formal adherence in translation. Yet, stay- ing in the canon also gives rise to the temptation of tampering with a canonized relic in search of new meanings and hidden potentials of a well-assimilated text. This book traces the relationship between translation strategies and the stage history of King Lear. The basic research assumption consists in the belief that Shakespeare’s plays reflect the stage practices of the Elizabethan age which, in translation, wrestle and compete with the conventions of the stage for which the plays are translated. Bearing in mind the manipulative nature of the translation process, the translator may neglect the pragmatics of the stage, and choose to adhere to the original features of the text or, alternatively, seek harmony with con- temporary standards, and adjust the play to the expectations of the future spectators. The rationale of this choice consists in the realization of the canonized position of the translated text, and the resulting willingness of the audience to explore the text on its own terms. And yet the choice is also motivated by the translators’ understanding of the theatre of their own time, and their willingness to rewrite Shakespeare for the contemporary stage. The methodological assump- tions are derived from Descriptive Translation Studies (Toury 1985/ 1995) and embrace in particular Toury’s concept of translation norms – 17 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear and the relation between the translation strategy and the prospective function of the translation in the hosting system (Chapter 1). Taking into consideration the intricacy of drama translation, and the absence of genre-specific translation models within Translation Studies, the analysis draws on the research methods elaborated within the field of the semiotics of drama and performance, mainly in areas where these disciplines underscore and elucidate the theatrical dimension of the dramatic text (Chapter 2). The resulting combination of the descriptive methods of DTS, and the semiotic insights into the structure and inter- pretation of dramatic discourse serves as an analytical model for the examination of the corpus of the Polish translations of King Lear and the designation of four translations which appear most successful from the literary and/or theatrical point of view (Chapter 3). Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 offer four independent studies of Polish translations of King Lear, of which two originate in the nineteenth century (by Jan Nepomucen Kamiński and Józef Paszkowski, respectively), whereas the other belong to the second half of the twentieth century (Maciej Słomczyński and Stanisław Barańczak). The reasons underlying the choice of King Lear stem from the nature of the play itself, as well as from the specific literary and theatrical reception of the work in Poland. Throughout the ages critics have frequently assigned to King Lear the status of one of the greatest of Shakespeare’s tragedies based on radically different interpretations of the protagonist’s fate. Inasmuch as some critics emphasised the Christian content of the play, others, most notably Jan Kott, identified grotesque elements, and proclaimed Shakespeare a forerunner of the Theatre of the Absurd. The multiple readings of King Lear result also, to some degree, from the textual predicament which has been bother- ing editors ever since the Folio version of the play was published.6 6 From 1623 two basic texts have been available to the English editors of King Lear: the Quarto (1608), which gives 300 lines the Folio omits, and the Folio, which gives 100 lines absent in the Quarto. Initially, no conflation was attempted, and, for example, Nicholas Rowe in his 1709 edition of the complete works of Shakespeare relied entirely on the Folio. However, in 1723 Alexander Pope made some additions from the Quarto, and strongly argued for the alleged theatrical degradation of the Folio text. Also Lewis Theobald believed the Folio to be a theatre-derived, inferior version, and in 1733 made new additions from the Quarto. In the years 1767-8, Edward Campell provided a single composite version based on the Quartos. Finally, Edmond Malone in 1790 edited a text – 18 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Introduction Equally surprising and changeable appears to be the theatrical re- ception of the play. While the nineteenth century theatre saw the play as a pretext for a spectacular show of stage machinery, critics, like Charles Lamb, deemed the play utterly non-theatrical. And yet the play continued to be staged, and later on screened, with interest particularly reviving when twentieth century interpretation turned it into an exercise in the grotesque and the absurd. Translations of King Lear into Polish started appearing earlier, and in greater numbers, than other translations of Shakespeare’s plays. So far the play has been translated into Polish fourteen times from the original text, and at least three times from the French or German adaptations of the play. Of all Shakespeare’s plays only Hamlet has been translated more frequently. Despite a significant number of available translations, the Polish stage history of the play appears less fortunate. Throughout the nineteenth century the play was staged frequently, though exclusively in adaptations or conflated versions based on the available translations. In the years 1805-1935, for example, there were more than 60 premiere performances of King Lear on the Polish stage.7 Its popularity continued well into the second half of the nineteenth century and the play was customarily chosen for anniversary performances of the leading actors of the day. However, the twentieth century and especially the post-war period, witnessed surprising variations in the number of King Lear productions. In the years 1945-92 the play was staged only five times (Hamlet, for example, was staged more than fifty times, and the total number of Shakespeare productions reached almost four hundred), each time in a different translation. Two of these productions of the plays staged in this period stirred a great deal of interest, though for vastly different reasons. King Lear, produced in Warsaw in 1977, and directed by Jerzy Jarocki, featured in the repertoire for five years and drew which became a standard for subsequent editors. Malone generally preferred the Quarto text, yet he included all the lines present only in the Folio, and thus the practice of conflation became a strongly established tradition. The composite text of King Lear was reprinted in Charles Knight’s edition of 1839-43, and in the Cambridge edition of 1863-6. The editorial practices with regard to King Lear are discussed in detail by Steven Urkowitz in his essay “The Base Shall to th’Legitimate: The Growth of an Editorial Tradition” in Taylor and Warren (1983: 23-43). 7 The estimated number of performances is quoted after Hahn (1958). – 19 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear enthusiastic critical response. King Lear, rehearsed in Poznań in 1992, and directed by Eugeniusz Korin, was never staged in its intended form, due to the sudden death of Lear, Tadeusz Łomnicki, a week before the premiere performance. As if going against the sad memory of the event, and certainly against the trend which emerged in the post-war period, the turn of the millennium brought new and powerful Lears played by Jan Englert (1998), Jan Frycz (2000), Zbigniew Zapasiewicz (2001), and Daniel Olbrychski (2006). The intricacies of the Polish theatrical reception of King Lear, his triumphs, disappearances and spectacular comebacks, make the play a particularly interesting choice for investigating the relationship between translation and performance. What part did the translators play in the Polish history of King Lear? Did they look to Shakespeare only or lean towards the theatre by supplying scripts rewritten for their own time? Did they act as prompters, whispering words into the ears of the actors, or command the stage themselves to tamper with Shakespeare’s designs? And last but not least, are we aware of the nature and extent of their share in the performance? This book is an attempt to find out the answers. ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Chapter 1 Literature in Translation: Altering the Perspective I’d speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife. Lear: FGloucester: Well, my good lord, I have informed them so. Lear: Informed them!? Dost thou understand me, man?F (2.2.287-8) Lear’s failure as a father and sovereign often overshadows yet another facet of his tragedy: Lear loses his language. One of his most throbbing experiences is the recognition of the ineffectiveness of his speech. With royal authority gone, the familiar words neither threaten nor appeal, and lose their basic causative power. Postponing his anagnorisis, Lear stubbornly clings to the worn-out forms of orders and curses, but his interlocutors remain insolent or indifferent. Final- ly, unable to establish dialogue, Lear retreats into madness where the response of those who listen is no longer essential. Thus, towards the end of the play, Lear’s rich, connotative language becomes understand- able largely within its own frame of reference. The nature of Lear’s predicament resembles in many ways the pitfalls of translation. Thus, it is also the translators who strive to find their way between employing the same words and securing equivalent effect. While reproducing the form promotes the surface, the search – 21 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear for meaning and, even more so, reconstruction of the function calls for a broad socio-cultural survey of both the source and the receiving culture. The alternative solutions multiply, with their choice hing- ing on vastly differing circumstances, ranging from the translator’s linguistic competence to aesthetic preferences shaping the reception of translated literature. The challenge of translation further intensifies with works bearing strong marks of their time-and-place-bound lite- rariness, and well-tuned to the expectations of their immediate receiv- ing audience. Viewed by a translator, such texts resemble nebulas of formal, semantic and functional correspondences, which compete and rule out each other in translation. In consequence, the target text becomes a mutation of the original, shaped by the pressure of the hosting system, and varied by the subjective inferences of the translator. Despite the enormous share of translation in the cultural traffic, Translation Studies has emerged only recently, and continues to reassert its position against linguistics and comparative literature.1 Withdrawing from traditional alliances proves difficult, especially if the new discipline borrows methodologies and annexes areas of re- search others thought their own. And yet Translation Studies refuses to be devoured by its well-established rivals, and clearly profiles itself as an alternative to other approaches. Accordingly, linguistic studies of translation have been customarily preoccupied with the practical aspects of translating and interpreting, and therefore, centred around the concept of equivalence, whereas literary studies have reached readily for traditional devices of literary analysis for the description and assessment of translated texts. Both linguistics-oriented and literature-oriented translation theories are said to have been, somewhat naturally, mainly prescriptive, and therefore, bent on drawing a line between appropriate and inappropriate renderings of the source text.2 1 The scope of the discipline has been outlined, e.g., by André Lefevere (1978: 23), Susan Bassnett (1980: 7-8), Gideon Toury (1995: 10), Mary Snell-Hornby (1995: 19), and defined by Mark Shuttleworth and Moira Cowie (1997: 183-4), and embraces all aspects of translating and interpreting, including, but not limited to, relevant areas of linguistics, literature and affiliated disciplines such as history, philosophy and semiotics. 2 A well-known enumeration of the apparent sins of the literary and linguistic approaches to translation, along with the characteristics of the new paradigm can be – 22 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Literature in Translation: Altering the Perspective Furthermore, the predominant normative approaches favoured the synchronic analysis of the source vs. target text, and often underesti- mated, or deemed negative the shaping impact of the receiving culture. The contempt for translations displaying excessive compliance with the preferences of their immediate audiences for the price of departures from the original, led also to downgrading or stigmatising translation practices which set as their priority compliance with current aesthetic conventions, along with all the necessary courage, sensitivity and in- ventiveness such practices involve. On the material level, the norma- tive attitudes would relegate to the fringes of scholarly interest various forms of abridgements, secondary translations or translations based on unknown source texts. Significantly enough, it is in particular the theatrical reception of drama which often licensed free borrowings and daring adaptations of the foreign repertoire, and thus somewhat naturally privileged the demands of the contemporary stage over linguistic accuracy. Additionally, the disciplinary bias was also projected onto the research profile, and forged the preference for either literary or non- literary texts. The dependence on traditional methodological tools, combined with the unnatural split within the area of research, could not but hinder the development of translation theory. Consequently, at the end of the twentieth century the postulates for the establishment of an independent discipline for the study of translation were articu- lated with particular insistence and urgency. However, the absence of comprehensive theories of translation resulted not only from the indebtedness to, or interference of adjacent fields. The methodological dilemmas stemmed also from the empirical nature of the proposed found in the locus classicus of early Translation Studies, i.e. Theo Hermans’ intro- duction to The Manipulation of Literature. Studies in Literary Translation, often seen as a manifesto of the new discipline. Distancing itself from the aforementioned normative and evaluative bias of the former methodologies, Hermans insisted on “a view of literature as a complex and dynamic system; a conviction that there should be a continual interplay between theoretical models and practical case studies; an approach to literary translation which is descriptive, target-oriented, functional and systemic; and an interest in the norms and constraints that govern the production and reception of translations, in the relation between translation and other types of text processing, and in the place and role of translations both within a given literature and in the interaction between literatures” (1985: 10-1). – 23 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw== Enter Lear discipline and the resulting epistemological implications. In fact, the dilemmas facing Translation Studies were signalled already in the inquiries of James Holmes, usually credited with having given the impetus to establish the new discipline.3 James Holmes, essentially a structuralist scholar, postulated that Translation Studies should be an empirical science, proceeding from the analysis of facts, through explanations, to the formulation of the principles of translation (Holmes 1988). Given the absence of trans- lation theory, the direction of research, at least initially, was to proceed from an accumulation of descriptions and facts to the for- mulation of translation theory. However, contemporary epistemology shows much distrust towards empirical disciplines which, depart- ing from the examination of facts, aspire to make claims of absolute objectivity and universality.4 These reservations were perhaps best formalised by Luis Prieto: The truth of a concept is measured not on the basis of its adequacy to the object, but its adequacy to the point of view from which the object is considered, and from which its pertinence derives. This means that a concept is more or less true according to how it approximates to the ideal that consists of retaining all that is pertinent to the object from the point of view on which this concept is founded and only what is pertinent from this point of view. (Prieto 1975: 124, quoted after de Marinis 1993: 9) A similar note of distrust concerning the selection of research criteria resounds in Umberto Eco’s idea of “ideological fallacy”: In the human sciences one often finds an ‘ideological fallacy’ common to many scientific approaches, which consists in believing that one’s own ap- 3 The role of James Holmes in the establishment of Translation Studies has been acknowledged relatively recently. In 1995 Gideon Toury, for example, listed more than 20 reference books from which Holmes’ name was missing (1995: 3). Nowadays Holmes’ significance for the establishment of the field remains unquestionable (cf. Snell- Hornby 2006: 40-6). 4 The discussion of epistemological limits of an empirical discipline is patterned after de Marinis (1993: 9-10). De Marinis aims at the establishment of a research methodology for theatre semiotics, yet his emphasis on the pertinence of research criteria shows relevance to translation analysis, even more so within the context of this book. – 24 – ##7#52#aSUZPUk1BVC1WaXJ0dWFsbw==
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