Articles

From New England to the Low Countries: A comparative translation analysis of Eugene O’Neill’s Desire under the elms and Arne Sierens’ Het begeren onder de olmen

Author
  • Eline Denolf (UGent)

Abstract

The following contribution is concerned with the particularities of theatre translation, a discipline at the crossroads of Translation Studies and Theatre Studies. More specifically, it is a case-study on the translation of the literary dialect which functions as a dramatic instrument in Eugene O’Neill’s Desire under the elms (1924). The particular idiom which characterizes the play’s protagonists is not only marked by its vernacular linguistic markers, but also by its remarkably unruly, fragmentary and dissonant rhythm, promoting the performative faculty. It was Arne Sierens who, in 1992 and at the request of theatre company Het Zuidelijk Toneel, brought the text to the Low Countries. An analysis of the specific considerations which Sierens had to take into account when translating for this linguistically and culturally diverse area, as well as the translation strategies applied, is followed by a look into the collaborative translation process between translator, director, dramaturge and actors, which theatre translation today essentially is. The findings reassert why drama translation deserves its place as an autonomous field within academic research.

 

Keywords: drama translation, literary dialect, collective authorship, Arne Sierens, Eugene O’Neill

How to Cite:

Denolf, E., (2019) “From New England to the Low Countries: A comparative translation analysis of Eugene O’Neill’s Desire under the elms and Arne Sierens’ Het begeren onder de olmen”, Documenta 37(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/documenta.81901

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Published on
14 Jan 2019
Peer Reviewed