Thursday, 20 January 2011

Shakespeare's plays to be performed in 38 languages

Yes, but which translations are they going to use? I have heard that German translations of Shakespeare's plays are excellent (some say they are better than the original). But the Italian translations are generally abysmal – either overly literal or full of the most baroque flourishes and inversions, so that when they are performed they are hardly intelligible. Elisabetta and I used to read aloud Italian translations of Shakespeare's comedies, and we did laugh a lot, but not for the jokes or the wit of the original.

The very best poetry can only be fully appreciated in the original.

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