Concretization‒transduction‒adaptation : on Prague School legacy in theatre studies today

Author: Meerzon, Yana
Source document: Theatralia. 2012, vol. 15, iss. 2, pp. 125-153
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
License: Not specified license
In his 1963 article "The Translation of Verbal Art", Jiří Levý engages with the task to theorize the mechanisms of translation. Levý stresses the complex task of translator as a receiver of the original document, and as a creator of its new textual concretization (the text of a translation) in another language. Levý constructs his theory of translation in dialogue with Felix Vodička's study "The Concretization of the Literary Work". Similarly to Vodička, Levý proposes to take the concept of concretization as the active involvement of the perceiver‒reader or the perceiver‒artist in the act of reading, interpretation and creative engagement with the original, but he opts to "operate with a more limited definition of the concept"; and thus defines a theatrical performance as "the realization of a dramatic text through the medium of the theatre; a translation as a realization of a work in a new language; and a critical evaluation as an interpretation" (LEVÝ 1963: 222). Following this analogy, I propose to define the process of adaptation – another form of concretization of the material ‒ as a realization of an original work either within the new performative medium, intermedial adaptation, or within the same performative medium, intramedial adaptation, as a realization (actualization or concretization) of an original work within the same media and the new artistic, linguistic and socio-cultural circumstances of the target audience. This article aims to begin the process of refocusing adaptation studies from its emphasis on the binary Original Text versus Adaptation Text to more dynamic formula: original adaptor/receiver activity = Adaptation. It aspires to study the figure of the adaptor/receiver and his/her cognitive and artistic activities, as well as to re-examine the methodological and artistic mechanisms found in the adaptation as the process of concretization.
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