ACADEMIC TRANSALTION AS CULTURAL CHALLENGE: PETRU COMARNESCU’S CONTRIBUTION TO EUGENE O’NEILL’S RECEPTION IN ROMANIA Cover Image
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ACADEMIC TRANSALTION AS CULTURAL CHALLENGE: PETRU COMARNESCU’S CONTRIBUTION TO EUGENE O’NEILL’S RECEPTION IN ROMANIA
ACADEMIC TRANSALTION AS CULTURAL CHALLENGE: PETRU COMARNESCU’S CONTRIBUTION TO EUGENE O’NEILL’S RECEPTION IN ROMANIA

Author(s): Adriana Carolina Bulz
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Universitatea »1 Decembrie 1918« Alba Iulia
Keywords: academic and stage translation; cultural dialogue; equivalence; correspondence

Summary/Abstract: In the context of the Romanian-American cultural exchanges taking place in the period between the two world wars, translation from American literature was initiated so as to bring prestige to the vernacular language and also to increase the quality standards of our national literature. In the early 1940s, Petru Comarnescu took up the difficult task of translating Eugene O’Neill’s dramatic masterpieces in the attempt to establish a viable connection with the playwright’s universe, one that would benefit both intellectuals and their respective countries. As their correspondence stands proof, O’Neill was extremely pleased with Comarnescu’s critical insights into his work and trusted him with the title of sole translator and representative of his work in Romania, in other words he made our critic his Romanian cultural agent. While the translating act in general implies the effort of finding the ‘equivalence’ of meaning sustained by a ‘correspondence’ of form, in the case of drama this effort of rendering meaning and form is far more complex, since the translated text equally has to fit the staging requirements. However, Comarnescu was the perfect embodiment of the ‘academic translator’, an intellectual whose background knowledge of the works he is translating recommends him for a special relationship with the text and with its author. His versions are generally more literary and complex, avoiding the regime of adaptation that other translators used for their stage-oriented versions - where such parallel versions do exist, I will discuss them by comparison with Comarnescu’s efforts, in a stereoscopical manner. I will mainly focus on the Romanian critic’s translation of O’Neill’s monumental plays

  • Issue Year: 15/2014
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 169-184
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English