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Book Reviews
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Decentering the Bard: The Localization of King Lear in Egyptian TV Drama Dahsha

Abstract

Dahsha [Bewilderment] is an Egyptian TV series written by scriptwriter Abdelrahim Kamal and adapted from Shakespeare’s King Lear. The TV drama locates Al Basel Hamad Al Basha, Lear’s counterpart, in Upper Egypt and follows a localized version of the king’s tragedy starting from the division of his lands between his two wicked daughters and the disinheritance of his sincere daughter till his downfall. This study examines the relationship between Dahsha and King Lear and investigates the position of the Bard when contextualized in other cultures, revisited in other locales, and retold in other languages. It raises many questions about Shakespeare’s proximity to the transcultural/transnational adaptations of his plays. Does Shakespeare’s discourse limit the interpretation of the adapted works or does it promote intercultural conversations between the varying worldviews? Where is the Bard positioned when contextualized in other cultures, revisited in other locales, and retold in other languages? Does he stand in the center or at the margin? The study attempts to answer these questions and to read the Egyptian localization of King Lear as an independent work that transposes Shakespeare from a central dominant element into a periphery that remains visible in the background of the Upper Egyptian drama.

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Dutch Caribbean Poetics in a Historical Perspective

Abstract

This article provides an overview of two hundred years of Dutch Caribbean poetics: from Eurocentrism to originality, from imitation towards creation.

In the 19th century colonial poets of the ABC islands followed European examples, in the beginning of the 20th century they searched for local themes and forms, and from the last decades of the 20th and in the beginning of the 21st centuries they combined the local and the global arriving at a creative amalgam of the glocal.

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From the Editor
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Hamlet Underground: Revisiting Shakespeare and Dostoevsky

Abstract

This is the first of a pair of articles that consider the relationship between Dostoevsky’s novella Notes from the Underground and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Acknowledging Shakespeare’s well-known influence on Dostoevsky and paying close attention to similarities between the two texts, the author frames the comparison by reflecting on his own initial encounter with Dostoevsky in David Magarshack’s 1968 English translation. A discussion of previous Anglophone scholarly attempts to explore the resonance between the texts leads to a reading of textual echoes (using Magarshack’s translation). The wider phenomenon of Hamletism in the nineteenth century is introduced, complicating Dostoevsky’s national and generational context, and laying the groundwork for the second article—which questions the ‘universalist’ assumptions informing the English translator-reader contract.

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Interview with Bryan Reynolds
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Let It Go: Multicultural Society in Los by Tom Naegels

Abstract

Although scholars in the Netherlands have already attempted to integrate literary theories on migration with the specific Dutch context, none such attempts have so far been made for Flemish literature. The current paper therefore scrutinises the novel Los by Tom Naegels, an (autobiographical) account of the riots in Borgerhout (Antwerp) after the murder on Islam teacher Mohamed Achrak in 2002. As the author also covered these events as a journalist, the analysis investigates the manner in which this topical matter is intertwined with the more personal story about the struggle conducted by Naegels’s grandfather for euthanasia. The paper leans on Jérôme Meizoz’s posture theory, which differentiates the author figure from the biographical person and the narrator. In addition, the novel is situated within the contemporary literary return towards realism and Flemish literature’s negotiation of Flemish identity. By focussing on these three elements – the theme of migration, realism and Flemish identity – the paper attempts to contribute to the development of a literary theory on migration in Flanders.

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A Poetic Voice in the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Holland: Remco Campert and Breyten Breytenbach

Abstract

This article discusses the Dutch poet Remco Campert’s involvement in the anti-apartheid movement in Holland by focusing on his magazine Gedicht (1974-1976) and his poem dedicated to the imprisoned South African writer Breyten Breytenbach. Campert’s international engagement is part of the actions undertaken by the Breytenbach-committee and other Dutch initiatives which tried to maintain public interest for the case of Breyten-bach’s imprisonment.

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Post-colonial Literary Texts as Reading Texts within Today’s Schools

Abstract

In the making of an edition of the first modern Dutch slavery novel, De stille plantage (1931) by Surinamese author Albert Helman, all kinds of questions arise. There are issues of postcolonial contextualization, historical commentary and the way a text gets its actual significance in high schools. All these issues have their own sensibility in the light of recent fierce debates on slavery and its impact on western societies. The editors do have to take into account more than ever before their own position and questions of ideological responsibility, apart from issues of didactical and pedagogical nature. The question is raised whether such a modern edition does not touch more upon ideological language critique than postcolonial contextualization.

Open access
Receptive Aesthetic Criteria: Reader Comparisons of Two Finnish Translations of Hamlet

Abstract

This article examines the subjective aesthetic criteria used to assess two Finnish translations of Hamlet, one by Eeva-Liisa Manner (1981) and the other by Matti Rossi (2013), both accomplished translators for the stage. A survey consisting of one general question (“Briefly describe your idea of how Shakespeare translation should sound in Finnish, and what you think are the qualities of a good Shakespeare translation”) and five text extracts was distributed on paper and electronically, generating 50 responses. For the extracts, respondents were asked whether one or the other translation most closely dorresponded to their idea of what a Shakespeare translation should sound like and why, along with questions on whether they would prefer to see or read one or the other. The results show that there are no strong shared expectancy norms in Finland regarding Shakespeare translation. Manner was generally felt to be more concise and poetic, while Rossi was praised for his exquisite use of modern Finnish. Respondents agreed that rhythm was an important criterion, but disagreed on what sorts of rhythms they preferred. Translation of the “to be or not to be” speech raised the most passions, with many strongly preferring Manner’s more traditional translation. The results suggest that Shakespeare scholars would do well to take variations in expectancy norms into account when assessing and analysing Shakespeare in translation.

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