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ERIC Number: EJ805294
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun-2
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Translation
Howard, Jennifer
Chronicle of Higher Education, v52 n39 pA10 Jun 2006
Amy Richlin, a professor of classics at the University of California at Los Angeles, has just translated "Poenulus," a comedy likely written between 224 B.C. and 184 B.C. by the Roman playwright Plautus. To make the comedy comprehensible for modern audiences, Richlin came up with with a bolder and deliberately controversial approach: Seek out contemporary terms that carry the same political and social charge as the Latin originals. In the case of "Poenulus," for instance, she called her own translation "Towelheads." Richlin layered her versions with references taken right out of American pop culture: margaritas and salsa, five-star hotels, credit cards, loobies. Her translations featured characters with names like Toyboy and Georgia Moon, who utter phrases like "I'm hip" and "Whassup?" and broke into songs that follow music-hall, Broadway, and hip-hop rhythms. Richlin describes her treatment of "Poenulus" as transposition rather than translation, advocating that the ephemeral nature of comedy requires that plays such as "Poenulus" need to be reworked to be funny on the day and in the place where it is performed.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail: circulation@chronicle.com; Web site: http://chronicle.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A