Talking about Translation



Patricia Storace interviews Robert Fagles on translation for the Paris Review. Although they mostly talk about Homer, it’s still worth a look.

Ian Ruffell, who is especially interested in comedy, talks to Lorna Hardwick for Practitioners’ Voices.

An interview with Oliver Taplin in Practitioners’ Voices.



Blake Morrison’s piece for The Guardian on translating Antigone, entitled ‘Femme Fatale‘.



The first part of this transcript from the National Theatre’s 2003 Platform Paper on Translation is especially interesting, as Colin Teevan is invited to talk about his translation for Peter Hall’s Bacchae. Even the stuff that isn’t necessarily about Greek to English translation is worth having a look at as it raises the types of questions and issues (e.g., fidelity vs. performability) that you need to be asking when you put together your scripts for performance:



For, Tom Paulin wrote a short piece about his Medea, which toured for Northern Broadsides (Barrie Rutter’s company) in 2010: Tom Paulin on Translating Medea.

Tom Paulin was also interviewed by Suzi Feay for



Sarah Ruden wrote about the process of translating the Lysistrata back in 1994 for Didaskalia.

By 2003 she had published her own translation. Read this review of Sarah Ruden’s translation of the Lysistrata. Whether you are concentrating on this play or not, the issues that this (fairly scathing) review raises about the merits of a translation for performance, scholarly accuracy and, of particular concern with comedy, anachronism in jokes, are really valuable. I would also recommend that you read Sarah Ruden’s response to get an idea of how translators view their work.


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