Restoration theatre, indirect translation and the canon: Settle's Guarini

Název: Restoration theatre, indirect translation and the canon: Settle's Guarini
Zdrojový dokument: Theatralia. 2021, roč. 24, č. 1, s. 34-42
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
Type: Článek

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During the Restoration period, theatrical writing came to be definitively accepted as literature and as cultural capital. If in 1616 Ben Jonson had been mocked for daring to publish his works as Workes, the second half of the century saw the canonization of Shakespeare and other Elizabethan/Jacobean dramatists. In the domain of translation, however, this newly acquired canonical status did not mean that foreign plays would always receive the same kind of treatment that was usually reserved for a Virgil, a Cicero or a Castiglione. Source playwrights could be accorded respect as proper writers, but their works would still be subjected to a process of radical transformation, particularly when they had to be adapted for the English stage. An example of this is offered by Elkanah Settle's version of Giovanni Battista Guarini's Il pastor fido, printed in 1677: on the one hand, the translator recognized the canonical status of the Italian writer in his dedication and prologue; on the other, he did not hesitate to cut and shorten at will, and he freely announced that he had worked on Richard Fanshawe's 1647 version, rather than the Italian prime source.
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