Issue number 34 of our journal Coup de Théâtre (Verse Drama on the Anglophone Stage in the 20th-21st Centuries) is now available!
Le numéro 33 de la revue Coup de Théâtre (Traductions et adaptations des classiques sur la scène anglophone contemporaine), et le Hors Série né de la conference Crossing Borders: Anglophone Theatre in Europe sont disponibles!
RADAC is pleased to award its first “Master’s Award” to Saraé Le Bris Durest for her work entitled “La Vocifère, Traduction augmentée et commentée de The Striker by Caryl Churchill”. The master’s thesis was defended at the Faculty of Letters of the Sorbonne University under the direction of Florence Naugrette (Comparative Literature) & Elisabeth Angel-Perez (English Studies).
The initial goal of this thesis was to produce a translation of The Skriker, a 1994 play by British playwright Caryl Churchill. Conceiving of the translation process as a hermeneutic tool, this research proceeds to build a literary and stylistic analysis of the play. What does the playwright mean? What does the play mean that the playwright did not fully consciously intend for it to mean? How does meaning carry over in translation? What are the specific modes of translation when it comes to translating drama?
The Skriker is dominated by rhythm. As the eponymous character deliquesces into apparently whimsical logorrhoea, she (or it) lets the audience hear of decay through strings of words missing more and more syllables into oblivion, of fear and anger through staccato outbursts of roaring consonants, of raging despair through heart-wrenching accelerandos, of childhood and monsters through strange names and rags of nursery rhymes peeking up from the subconscious abyss like bubbles in a boiling cauldron. In contrast, the other two main characters, women in their late teens, speak a modern, natural, conversational language that struggles to keep up with the effects of magic on reality.
All this had to be translated. The politics and the poetry, the magic and the rationality, it all had to be somehow carried over into a French version that would produce some of the same feelings unto a French audience. The very attempt led to reflections on the nature of theatrical writing, on the role of the subconscious in the author’s process as well as the translator’s. By dealing with language, this research went after something outside language in Caryl Churchill’s process. The prism of translation serves to parse the light spectrum of The Skriker, aiming at an analysis of its aesthetics and dramaturgy.
The jury appreciated the originality of the subject of this Master’s thesis, as well as the ambition of this work and the fact that this ambition was kept till the end, given the particularly rich and complex nature of the original work. The jury also appreciated the creativity of the approach, the testing of orality with a professional actress, the structuring of the work (a first part dedicated to a contextualisation, followed by the full translation of the play, a third interpretative part offering a commentary on the translation) … and the very welcome glossary of folk creatures evoked in the play!
An abstract of the thesis will be published in issue number 34 of the magazine Coup de Théâtre in the fall of 2020.
RADAC, through its jury composed of Marianne Drugeon (Montpellier) and Agathe Torti-Alcayaga (Paris 13), congratulates Saraé Le Bris Durest and welcomes her as a member of the association.
The next Master’s prize will begin in September 2020, and we already invite M1 and M2 students who will have defended their theses on contemporary English-language theatre between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 to participate.
The archives from Coup de Théâtre, Radac’s annual journal, are available online and can be accessed for free.
Almost 40 years of RADAC’s work is accessible to scholars, students, professionals and all the lovers of anglophone contemporary theatre!
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