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War and Peace
The Guardian put this cheat sheet together in advance of a BBC adaptation: “War and Peace: The 10 Things to Know (If You Actually Haven’t Read It)”
“Why Read War and Peace?”: If you’ve never attempted it, let University of Chicago professor William Nickell tell you why it’s worth your time.
There remains the greatest of all novelists — for what else can we call the author of War and Peace? Shall we find Tolstoi, too, alien, difficult, a foreigner? Is there some oddity in his angle of vision which, at any rate until we have become disciples and so lost our bearings, keeps us at arm’s length in suspicion and bewilderment? From his first words we can be sure of one thing at any rate — here is a man who sees what we see, who proceeds, too, as we are accustomed to proceed, not from the inside outwards, but from the outside inwards.
War and Peace is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time… but there’s always room for debate. What’s your pitch for Gob Squad’s next epic adaptation?
PLUS: Everything you ever wanted to know about Gob Squad in their FAQ Videos.
Michael Billington, The Guardian‘s theatre critic, ranks The Misanthrope at #23 of the greatest plays of all time.
“Notes on The Misanthrope” by Pannill Camp, director of a 2015 production at Washington University in St. Louis
Adam Gopnik eulogizes Molière’s great translator Richard Wilbur while also using The Misanthrope to read contemporary French politics: “Thinking of Richard Wilbur and Molière While Listening to Emmanuel Macron”: The New Yorker, Oct 18, 2017
Can’t get enough Molière? Ariane Mnouchkine and Le Théâtre du Soleil made an epic film about him in 1978: Molière, ou la vie d’un honnête homme
Office Hours at NYU Skirball
Professor Erin Mee, and Gob Squad’s Sean Patton and Simon Will.
Marcial Godoy (NYU Hemispheric Institute) in conversation with Teatro La Re-Sentida’s Benjamin Westfall.
***BONUS!*** Caridad Svich, Sebastián Calderón Bentin, Brandon Woolf and Alisa Zhulina riff on translation, adaptation, and cat videos, in this between-shows salon in honor of Gob Squad and Teatro La Re-Sentida.
On Translation (Or Not)
Let’s get classic: Walter Benjamin’s “La Tâche du Traducteur” (1923):
- “The Translator’s Task,” translated by Steven Rendall (1997)
- “The Task of the Translator,” translated by Harry Zohn (1968)
“The Politics of Translation,” Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1993)
“Translation as Paradigm for Human Sciences,” Barbara Cassin (2016)
The Translation Studies Reader, ed. Lawrence Venuti (2000)
And for the contrarians: read an excerpt from The Dictionary of Untranslateables: A Philosophical Lexicon (2014)
Plus: “20 Theses on Translation” by Emily Apter, from The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature [click to expand]:
Adaptations can be seen as ways to uncover different meanings that may not be clearly revealed in the orginal stories. They can also be a way to explore the subjectivity of stories we have only been shown in one way.
Explore these readings to uncover more on the uses of adaptation in theatre.
“Telling the Tale: Adaptation as Interpretation” by Robert Gordon and Olaf Jubin (2015)
“Adaptation, the Genre” by Thomas Leitch (2008)
“Beyond Fidelity: The Dialogics of Adaptation” by Robert Stam (2000)
Both companies use multimedia and immersive or participatory strategies in their works. Get up to speed on these styles:
“Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics” by Claire Bishop (2004)
“Reality Enchanted, Contact Mediated: A Story of Gob Squad” by Nina Tecklenburg and Benjamin Carter (2012)
“The Spectatorial Body in Multimedia Performance” by Jennifer Parker-Starbuck (2011)
“Live Media: Interactive Technology and Theatre” by David Z. Saltz (2001)
“In Media Res: Why Multimedia Performance?” with Eric Dyer, Brooke O’Harra, Alex Timbers in conversation with Steve Luber
Extra Credit: The Best of Contemporary Translation
The Lark Theatre’s Theater in Translation (TINT) Initiative is a group of American collaborators made up of playwrights, translators, and advocates of work in translation who meet annually to discuss and develop strategies for global exchange in the theater. The aim is to increase the volume and quality of this kind of work, and help to advance plays in translation toward production.
Also check out their Global Exchanges:
The Best Translated Book Award is an American literary award that recognizes the previous year’s best original translation into English, one book of poetry and one of fiction. It was inaugurated in 2008 and is conferred by Three Percent, the online literary magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press of the University of Rochester.
Angel of Oblivion, by Maja Haderlap
Translated from the German by Tess Lewis
Translated from the Middle English by Simon Armitage