Lost In Translation

Just seen this really, really interesting article by John M Morrison in The Guardian (1st September 2010), about people making radical changes to plays when they translate them from other languages into English versions.

I hope what I’m doing falls under the okay banner of: “If writers feel the urge to improve or reinvent the classics, they can choose to present the work under their own names and with a new title.”

If you want to change the focus of these plays, I think it’s okay to use the original text as a basis for writing something else, which doesn’t pretend to be the original play and which makes it very clear that it’s your deliberate reworking of the material.

But maybe the danger comes when you keep the original title, keep the original author’s name on it, and sort of allow anyone who doesn’t know the play to assume that that’s what the author themselves has written… That would be bad.

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