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Yotam Benshalom

Thesis: Performing Translation: Theatrical Theory and its Relevance to Textual Transfer
Supervisors: Dr Lynn Long, Dr Silvija Jestrovic

Research Summary:

Translation is considered at times to be a form of art. As such, its practice and understanding have much to gain from models, terminologies, aims and methods drawn from neighbouring schools of art. In my research, I try to enrich translation with insights taken from the arts of performance. This is done by reviewing core issues, as discussed in the writings of select theatre scholars, and by examining their compatibility with the world of translation. This elaboration of a basic metaphor, comparing translators to actors, can thus shed new light on several familiar translation concepts, problems and solutions. The main issues which are chosen for the sake of this comparison, faced by performers and translators alike, are:

1. Impersonation.
Aesthetic and practical issues concerning the self-transformation involved with pretending to be somebody else, adopting his features and uttering his text.

2. Performance in real time.
The need to reach a mental, semi-intuitive 'flow' governing and refining the practitioners' pace, attention and concentration.

3. Para-representational goals.
Various unique approaches to translation and performance which exceed mere represenation, such as promoting justice or advancing spiritually.

3. Working with(in) boundaries.
Taking the actor/translator metaphor to the limit by comparing theatrical space, confining performers yet dictating their relationship with audience, with the boundaries set by translational norms.

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Yotam Benshalom

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