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(2016) Rereading Schleiermacher, Dordrecht, Springer.

"It's deeper than that"

manifestations of Schleiermacher in Martin Crimp's writing and translation for theater

Geraldine Brodie

pp. 233-243

As a playwright and translator, Martin Crimp reveals the uncertainties which lie beneath the apparent transparencies of translation. This chapter scrutinizes the manifestations of Schleiermacher's implication that the audience should not be left "in peace", as demonstrated in Crimp's theatrical writing, including translations and adaptations of the works of other playwrights in addition to his original plays. Crimp's employment of translational activity to destabilize the audience in his play Attempts on her Life (1997) is discussed, followed by an investigation of the (sur)realities of his portrayal of the translator Clair in The City (2008), who is depicted negotiating the tensions between her perceived responsibilities to both the translated and the receivers of translation, and the conflicts with her own narrative instincts. Crimp's translational attitude, implied in his plays, is then examined further in an analysis of his practical translation techniques in two works at differing ends of the translation spectrum: Ionesco's Rhinoceros, a direct translation from French (2007), and Chekhov's The Seagull for which Crimp created a version using a specially commissioned literal translation from Russian by Helen Rappaport (2008). I argue that Crimp's combination of translation and theatre, both in his creative activities and in his imagined characters, not only presents a modern example of Schleiermacher's method of translation but also demonstrates the depths of hermeneutic performance.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-47949-0_20

Full citation:

Brodie, G. (2016)., "It's deeper than that": manifestations of Schleiermacher in Martin Crimp's writing and translation for theater, in T. Seruya (ed.), Rereading Schleiermacher, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 233-243.

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