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Cette fameuse Sonate des spectres… Une pièce de chambre d’August Strindberg en France: traduction et réception
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of French, Italian and Classical Languages.
1999 (French)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation studies the reception of one of August Strindberg’s chamber plays, The Ghost sonata (La Sonate des spectres, Spök-sonaten, 1907), in France, focusing on its translation, transposition to the stage and integration within a given cultural system. The early interest of Antonin Artaud in this play around 1930 led to its being adopted by the French avant-garde theatre and made famous through its staging by Roger Blin in 1949. It counts as a forerunner of the theatre of the absurd, Beckett, and Ionesco. Considered one of Strindberg’s most hermetic dramas, it has often been experienced as “deadly boring” or as the product of a “disturbed mind”. This dissertation sets out to clarify the relation between the translations and these judgements, as their influence on Strindberg’s image and on the tradition attached to the play in France may be significant.

Working from a hermeneutic and semiotic perspective, this dissertation deals with the entire process of theatrical translation, from the genesis of the original dramatic text to its introduction to France, the translation and retranslation of the play, different stagings, and their reception by the French press. The translations and translators are seen within a diachronic perspective that permits them to be evaluated in accordance with changing norms. The focus falls on fidelity to the source-text, the characteristics of the chamber play, the dream-like atmosphere, the translation of subtleties like subtext, images, and silence, and the playability of the text.

It is argued that the original stage project by Artaud has determined a particular French tradition of interpreting the play as absurd or as a dream play. This is a more extreme interpretation than is common in Sweden. The special character of the play as well as the deficiencies of the translations have probably contributed to this situation, as has also the fact that the first French translation was based indirectly on a manuscript that had not been approved by Strindberg. With the freedom of interpretation of future directors in mind, the dissertation underlines the importance of a translation based on a reliable source-text, if there is to be respect for Strindberg’s intentions as well as for the stylistic qualities of his dramatic works.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för franska och italienska , 1999.
Series
Forskningsrapporter / Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för franska och italienska: cahiers de la recherche, ISSN 1654-1294 ; 9
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
French
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-10093OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-10093DiVA, id: diva2:176612
Public defence
1999-02-05, Hörsal 6, hus C, 13:00 (French)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-02-27 Created: 2007-11-21 Last updated: 2018-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
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Language
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Output format
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