Translating Classical Plays is a selection of edited papers by J. Michael Walton published and delivered between 1997 and 2014. Of the four sections, each with a new introduction, the first two cover the history of translating classical drama into English and specific issues relating to translation for stage performance. The latter two are concerned with the three Greek tragedians, and the Greek and Roman writers of old and new comedy, ending with the hitherto unpublished text of a Platform Lecture given at the National Theatre in London comparing the plays of Plautus with Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The volume is an invaluable resource for anyone involved in staging or translating classical drama.
Michael Walton is a rare and important scholar in that he has brilliantly united his detailed knowledge of theatre studies with classical scholarship and his work as a translator of ancient drama. His groundbreaking insights into the art of translating classical works for the modern stage have been invaluable to both scholars and practitioners for many years. Now we are able to appreciate the wide range of his vital work collected in this spirited, thought-provoking and inspiring volume.
- Professor Peter Meineck, New York University, USA
… [a] coherent quasi-monograph that testifies to its author's vigorous and rigorous engagement and passion for performance translations of ancient Greek and Roman theatre. It is also an enjoyable read seasoned with humour, serious business balanced out by historical anecdotes, and with an acute sense for live performance.
- Professor Pavel Drábek, University of Hull, UK, in the Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance
List of illustrations and copyright
Part 1 Translation in English
Chapter 1 ‘An Agreeable Innovation’: Play and Translation
from Lianeri, Alexandra and Vanda Zajko (eds 2008), Translation and the Classic, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 261–7. By permission of Oxford University Press.
Chapter 2 Theobald and Lintott: A Footnote on Early Translations of Greek Tragedy
from Arion Third Series, 16.3, Winter 2009, pp. 103–110.
Chapter 3 Benson, ‘Mushri’ and the First English Oresteia
from Arion, 14.2, Fall 2006, pp. 49–67.
Chapter 4 Business as Usual: Plautus’ Menaechmi in English Translation from Olson, S. Douglas (ed. 2014), Ancient Comedy and Reception: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Henderson. Berlin and Boston: de Gruyter.
pp. 1040–61. By permission of De Gruyter, Berlin and Boston.
Part 2 Processes and Issues
Chapter 5 ‘Good Manners, Decorum or the Public Peace’: Greek Drama and the Censor
from Billiani, Francesca. (ed. 2007), Modes of Censorship and Translation: National Contexts and Diverse Media. Manchester & Kinderhook: St Jerome Publishing, pp. 143–66.
Chapter 6 Vacuum or Agenda: The Translator’s Dilemma
from Classical and Modern Literature,27.1, (2007, pub. 2008),
Chapter 7 Transfusion or Transgression: the translator as director in Medea
from Symposia Proceedings of the X (2000) and XI (2002) International Meetings on Ancient Greek Drama. Athens (2008): The European Cultural Centre of Delphi, pp. 195–205.
Part 3 Greek Tragedy
Chapter 8 ‘Enough Give In It’: Translating the Classical Play
from Hardwick, Lorna and Christopher Stray (eds 2008), The Blackwell Companion to Classical Receptions. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 153–67.
By permission of Wiley publishers.
Chapter 9 ‘Men as they Ought to Be’: Sophocles in Translation
from Markantonatos, Andreas (ed. 2012), Brill’s Companion to Sophocles. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp. 619–39.
Chapter 10 The Translator’s Invisibility: Handling Irony
from GRAMMA vol. 22 (1), 2014, pp. 143–58.
Chapter 11 Hit or Myth: The Irish and Greek Tragedy
from McDonald, Marianne and J. Michael Walton (eds 2002), Amid Our Troubles: Irish Versions of Greek Tragedy. London: Methuen, pp. 3–36.
Courtesy of Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Part 4 Greek and Roman Comedy
Chapter 12 The Line or the Gag: Translating Classical Comedy
from Manchester University Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies: Occasional Papers, vol. 3, 2006, pp. 29-46.
Chapter 13 Aristophanes and the Theatre of Burlesque
from The Comparative Drama Conference Series Text and Presentation 2005, 2006, pp. 3-14.
Chapter 14 Realising Menander: Get-in at the Getty
from DRAMA Beiträge zum antiken Drama unde seiner Rezeption,
Band 5, 1997, pp. 171–92. By permission of J.B. Metzler Verlag GmbH.
Chapter 15 Shtick or Twist: from Plautus to the Musical
from a Platform Lecture on the Olivier stage of the National Theatre in London, under the title ‘Business as Usual: Plautus in the Marketplace’,
15 Sep 2004, before a performance of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.