Hic et nunc: Amy Richlin's Iran Man and the ethics of translating Plautus

Author: Daniel, Clara
Source document: Theatralia. 2020, vol. 23, iss. 2, pp. 143-162
Extent
143-162
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
Type
Article
Language
English
Abstract(s)
Willing to challenge the classical tradition, Richlin (2005) adapted the Latin play Persa by Plautus to a contemporary context using American slang and pop culture. Richlin aims at making Roman comedy performable, popular and funny again whether onstage or in the classroom. Is her radical modernisation a form of domestication that is often criticized in translation studies for being unfaithful and unethical? Based upon a comparison between the original Latin text and Richlin's version, this paper questions the ethics of faithfulness which play a major role in translation terminology, a system determined by the traditional polarity between domestication and foreignization. By highlighting the ludic nature of Plautus' comedy (especially the ongoing joke with Greek culture and language), this paper argues that using modern transposition is a heavily Plautine strategy suitable for recovering the immediacy of comedy.
Document
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