Australian Journal of French Studies

Text Versus Stage: The Case of Yasmina Reza's "Art" Translated into British and American Englishes

Australian Journal of French Studies (2013), 50, (2), 232–245.

Abstract

As a way of studying the decision-making process in theatre translation, one can examine Yasmina Reza's "Art" and its British and American translations, whose stage productions met with huge acclaim in Great Britain and the US. The translator of both texts, Christopher Hampton, chooses a target over a source approach, aiming first and foremost at performance rather than silent reading. This process of "domestication" of the French original for adaptation to the Anglo-Saxon theatrical context is evident in the transpositions of language registers, in the descriptions of the white painting at the heart of the "drama", and in the erasure of the final line's philosophical intent. This last point in particular raises the question of how far a translator can go in terms of domestication without relieving the play of its original complexities.

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Author details

Jaccomard, Hélène