The Art of Translation

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Oberon Books, Mar 20, 2012 - Drama - 58 pages
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‘I try to follow the rule laid down by perhaps the greatest translator of all, John Dryden, who maintained that a translator should – and I paraphrase – make the version as entertaining as possible, while at the same time remaining as faithful as possible to the spirit of the original’ – Ranjit Bolt.

In this book, Ranjit Bolt takes what is essentially a practitioner's view of the art of literary translation. His observations are born of a quarter of a century's experience of translating for a living, especially for the theatre. While rooted in practice, however, this survey does not shy away from theory, but is packed with allusion to great translation theorists such as Walter Benjamin and John Dryden, as well as adumbrating Bolt's own theoretical stance.

‘There is much practical good sense in this engaging, good-humouredapologia pro domo’ - Times Literary Supplement

‘If you’re interested in writing plays you need to read The Art of Translation. Even if you have no intention of translating a play Bolt has a lot to teach about how dramatic language works.’ - The Stage

‘Bolt’s essay is provocative and engaging, drawing heavily on twenty years of direct first-hand experience as the writer of some of the most lively modern translations of classical into English... Bolt has a very satisfying turn of phrase, and the book is full of teasingly provocative and wondefully quotable opinions.’ – Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance
 

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About the author (2012)

Ranjit Bolt was born in Manchester in 1959 of mixed English and Indian parentage. His parents are both former English teachers and his uncle was the Oscar-winning playwright and screenwriter, Robert Bolt. He read classics at Oxford, then worked as an investment advisor for eight years before his translation of Corneille's comedy, The Liar, was performed at the Old Vic, in 1989, to huge critical acclaim. He soon gave up his job to concentrate on translation and has been working as a translator for the stage ever since, having translated many classic plays, particularly those of Molière and Corneille. Oberon Books publishes his translations of Tartuffe, The Grouch, The Misanthrope, The Miser/The Idiot, Lysistrata, Cyrano de Bergerac, Hercules and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

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