A common space: translation, transcreation, and drama

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Internationally renowned French playwright and novelist Yasmina Reza’s ten plays have been translated into more than 35 languages, with the exception of Dans la luge d’Arthur Schopenhauer, or On Arthur Schopenhauer’s Sledge (2005). This short play is made up of eight monologues for stage but is resolutely non-dramatic. The translation of such a hybrid text from French into English is a first-time collaboration between a translator, Hélène Jaccomard, and a transcreator, Vivienne Glance.
Prior to this, Glance, the transcreator, has been working with limited-English speaking authors to co-transcreate their works into English, doing so with no knowledge of their mother tongue. In contrast, for On Arthur Schopenhauer’ Sledge, Glance worked on a rough English translation, with some knowledge of the original French but no access to the author. Professional experience of acting and directing plays allowed the transcreator to ensure each character’s voice sounded natural, true, and distinctive in English.
Jaccomard, the translator, translated the French text into English, a second language, when literary translators typically work into their first language. Jaccomard’s command of English was often challenged by transferring a source language that is both abstract and precise, tackles philosophical ideas, and creates the characters’ moods and humour.
This paper analyses how co-transcreation practice between Jaccomard and Glance operates in the space common to translation for the stage, close textual analysis, and drama performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Issue numberSpecial issue 57
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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