Hamlet in translation

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Mon Aug 30 02:35:30 UTC 2010

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ronald Butters <ronbutters at AOL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Hamlet in translation
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Given that members of the same English-speaking culture that generated =
> it have had quite different takes on Hamlet and other literary works, it =
> is not surprising that people in Africa would not see the play the same =
> way, either.

... though it seems to be specific to the particular text of _Hamlet_ to
some degree.  Elsewhere, Laura Bohannon notes that when she tried to tell
the Tiv about King Lear, they responded with a total lack of interest.

Further, what the Tiv are interpreting *isn't the text of _Hamlet_, but a
narrative/plot summary translated from English into their own language.

Still further, the "text of _Hamlet_" that Laura Bohannon had in mind (in
the mid-fifties of the last century) was the composite or conflated work put
together by sticking together the (second) Quarto and Folio versions of the
play, so that not a single immortal word of the Bard would be lost.  This is
no longer universally accepted as representing anything that ever existed
before the eighteenth century.

(Incidentally, the text of "Hamlet In the Bush" was itself translated into
Portuguese a few years ago.  For what that particular piece of information
is worth.  I'm even cited there.)


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