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Readings in Twenty-First-Century European Literatures

Edited By Michael Gratzke, Margaret-Anne Hutton and Claire Whitehead

Readings in Twenty-First-Century European Literatures brings together analyses of post-2000 literary works from twelve European literatures. Sharing a common aim – that of taking the first step in identifying and analysing some of the emergent trends in contemporary European literatures – scholars from across Europe come together in this volume to address a range of issues. Topics include the post-postmodern; the effect of new media on literary production; the relationship between history, fiction and testimony; migrant writing and world literature; representation of ageing and intersexuality; life in hypermodernity; translation, both linguistic and cultural; and the institutional forces at work in the production and reception of twenty-first-century texts. Reading across the twenty chapters affords an opportunity to reconsider what is meant by both ‘European’ and ‘contemporary literature’ and to recontextualize single-discipline perspectives in a comparatist framework.

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Part IV Intercultural Translation and Reception

Extract

Naòmi Morgan Translation × 2: Yasmina Reza’s Le Dieu du carnage from French to Afrikaans, from Script to Stage Contemporary French playwright Yasmina Reza has become one of the most successful authors in the history of French theatre despite having been refused by the Conservatoire. Her most famous play, Art, has been staged more than 100,000 times throughout the world.1 French critics have since considered her plays either as grand art or divertissement.2 Although, as Guénoun puts it, ‘toutes les pièces de Reza […] déplacent ou mettent à mal le bon ficelage dramatique’ [‘all of Reza’s plays […] shift or interfere with the way a good play should be put together’],3 she attracts audiences from all walks of life. She writes a play every five or six years and is assured that it will probably première in various European and American cities and in dif ferent languages in quick succession. She has won (amongst others) four Molières, a Tony Award for Art (the first time this prize was awarded to a non-Anglophone author), a Laurence Olivier Award, and Die Welt prize, previously attributed to the Nobel Prize-winner for literature, Imre Kertész. She believes that the role of the actor is not secondary to that of the playwright, that the written and spoken word are not the play, that silences on stage are equally eloquent, and she waits patiently for the best translators, actors, and directors to bring her texts to life. Despite her popular success,...

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