The Translation of the Dramatic Text

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1 Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale Dipartimento di Scienze Umane, Sociali e della Salute Corso di Studi in Lingue Moderne Lingua Inglese 1 (Corso Integrato) (a.a ) Dott. Saverio Tomauolo The Translation of the Dramatic Text Translation for the stage either in the same language or in a different language is a peculiar form of translation. It implies a strongly performative quality, that is the fact that the written text has to be imagined to be performed ON STAGE, with a specific effect on its audience. Source Text è Translation + Performative element è Target Text è Stage Since the late seventies the dramatic text has raised discussions especially in the light of its multilayered formal nature, which mixes traditional textual features (such as register, rhetorical strategies etc...) with others such as paratextual factors connected to its performative qualities: - proxemics (the spaces that are used and the distance between audience and actors); - gestural elements (the ability of actors), to the presence of a specific dramatic space, as well as to many other signs related to the skill of the actor; - the audience the drama is addressed to; - the specific time and space-related uniqueness of any dramatic staging (see Sirkku AALTONEN, Time-Sharing on Stage. Drama Translation in Theatre and Society, 2000) More than other forms of (artistic) expression, the drama is in Patrice Pavis s words a crossroads of cultures which is marked by its intrinsic multicultural quality (Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture, 2001). For this reason, in translating a theatrical text we cannot simply translate a linguistic text into another; rather we confront and communicate heterogeneous cultures and situations of enunciation that are separated in space and time (Pavis 136). Moreover, both the semiotics of theatre (the study of the system of signs within the stage) and Translation Studies have worked side by side in approaching the dramatic text in the most complete way possible as a dialogic text in which different genres, rhetorical features and stagecraft traditions interact, always creating something new. The translator of the dramatic text has to be necessarily aware of what Susan Basnett calls the multiplication of signs which characterise theatrical discourse ( Still Trapped in the Labyrinth: Further Reflections on Translation and Theatre 1998, p. 107). 1

2 Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale Dipartimento di Scienze Umane, Sociali e della Salute Corso di Studi in Lingue Moderne Lingua Inglese 1 (Corso Integrato) (a.a ) Dott. Saverio Tomauolo Giorgio Strehler s La tempesta Giorgio Strehler ( ) established the Piccolo Teatro di Milano in 1947 with a production of Carlo Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters that went on to international acclaim and created the director s reputation as the leader of Italian theatre in postwar Italy. Over decades he produced versions of King Lear, Measure for Measure, plays from Bertold Brecht, Anton Chekhov (The Cherry Orchard) Carlo Goldoni, Luigi Pirandello and Eduardo De Filippo (The Great Magic). His first version of The Tempest was performed in the Boboli Gardens in Florence in 1948 with a translation by the poet Salvatore Quasimodo. The following version is dated 1978, and features Agostino Lombardo s notorious translation. Strehler s idea for La Tempesta is characterised by a strong sense of the world as theatre. Everything is put in the scene (including mechanical apparatuses making Ariel fly ), so that people immediately realise that this is a play and not reality. Strehler describes ita s the handmade theatre (teatro fatto a mano). In this way, he leads the audience to focus more on the content rather than on the external appearance of the drama. This latter approach is strongly influenced by Bertold Brecht s concept of Estrangement (Entfremdung). Indeed, in the 50's Strehler directed several plays by Bertolt Brecht with whom he would become close friends sharing his political beliefs. In 1956 Brecht attended a production of his Threepenny Opera. Back in Berlin he wrote "... thank you for the excellent performance of my Threepenny Opera which you have realized with a great director. Fire and freshness, ease and precision distinguish this performance from many others I have seen... ". In this respect, Strehler s reading of Shakespeare is fundamentally metatheatrical, according to which the theatre reflects on its nature as play, as creation. Most relevant features The first scene, in which spectators can actualy witness the creation of the tempest by stage personel, is the perfect expression of what Strehler calls teatro fatto a mano (handmade theatre). 2

3 In the second scene of the first act (featuring Prospero) there is a sand-covered platform, with a prominent Zodiac featured on it. It represents the magic spell of the number 12 that recurs in the whole text: -zodiacal signs (the cosmic order). And Prospero attempts to put order -Sycorax will reign for 12 years. -Caliban is imprisoned by Prospero for 12 years -Prospero wash Duke of Milan for 12 years -Prospero will stay on the island for 12 years The epilogue is characterised by Ariel freed by Prospero, who walks down the stage and walks among spectators. He is now out of the scene. Then there is Prospero, who disvests himself from his magical garment and breaks his stick. The stage literally falls down, the play finishes, and so the life of Prospero as a character. Strehler works along Agostino Lombardo on the text to adapt it to the stage (Drama translation / Translation for the Stage). This is particlarly relevant in the case of the two zanni or clowns of the play. Trinculo is imagined as a Napolitan buffone (based upon Pulcinella ), whereas Stephano becomes a sort of drunken Brighella, therefore speaking Venetian dialect. Enhancement of the comic effect of the staged play. Here are Strehler s own words on his project. Notice the reference to the idea of a collective need. The play wqs staged in an important historical epoch: the late 1970s the drama wash staged in 1978 were characterised by political unrest, terrorism but also by a great sense of artistic creativity in literature, music etc...: Perché dunque rappresentare La Tempesta? Risponderei: perché bisogna sfidare l impossibile, perché è il nostro dovere di uomini di teatro (e, a lampi, di artisti) ad un certo punto della nostra vita e della nostra conoscenza affrontare direttamente l impossibile, anche a costo di uscirne spezzati ma anche per strappare un altro pugno di verità del mondo. Una scelta, a teatro, del resto, non è mai pura. Nasce sempre da circostanze più o meno favorevoli, da sensazioni di opportunità e di necessità. Ed è, nonostante tutto, una scelta fatta da altri che un «direttore di teatro» poi fa sua. Davanti alla Tempesta non so dunque se questa scelta riassuma un bisogno in qualche modo «oscuramente collettivo», o se invece non sia più che altre volte (quasi un eccezione) un bisogno profondo della mia teatralità, giunta alla sua ultima svolta. Selected scenes Opening-7:35 Shipwreck/Prospero and Miranda 18:53-25:40 Ariel is evoked by Prospero 28:17-31:30 Caliban arrives 40:43-42:00 Ariel plays with Ferdinando, Miranda falls in love with him 1:11:45-1:23:30 Calibano meets Stephano (Venetian) and Trinculo (Neapolitan) 2:36-Closing Epilogue. Prospero s farewell speech 3

4 Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale Dipartimento di Scienze Umane, Sociali e della Salute Corso di Studi in Lingue Moderne Lingua Inglese 1 (Corso Integrato) (a.a ) Dott. Saverio Tomauolo Eduardo De Filippo s La tempesta Eduardo De Filippo s choice to translate The Tempest in Italian (or rather in the Neapolitan dialect) in 1983, the year before he died, seems to reflect his desire to follow the dramatic and biographical steps of William Shakespeare, a dramatist he constantly referred to in the course of his career. Notwithstanding their chronological, geographic and cultural differences, their similarities did not pass unnoticed by De Filippo, who had always felt a great admiration for the bard from Stratford-on-Avon. Like Shakespeare, De Filippo began his artistic career as an actor, then became dramatic director and finally turned to dramatic writing. Similarly to what happened with Shakespeare s sixteenth-century England, Naples represented for De Filippo in plays such as Napoli Milionaria and Questi Fantasmi a stage and theatrum mundi on which took form all contradictions, incongruities, dreams and hopes of the society he lived in. Moreover, because of his notoriously harsh behaviour on stage during rehersals and of his revolutionary approach, De Filippo was described by his detractors as a shake scene of the Italian dramatic world of the pre- and post-war years, like Shakespeare. Considered one of the most representative Italian dramatists of the twentieth century along with Luigi Pirandello and Dario Fo, De Filippo gave great importance to popular theatres like the San Ferdinando, which can be roughly compared to the London Globe for its audience. Both playwrights knew well the tastes, the issues and the necessities of their audience, which they considered as reference points in creating their works of art. Their theatrical instinct the outcome of a long experience on the scenes is therefore part of their greatness and uniqueness, as De Filippo admits in more than one occasion: Io ho una specie di istinto per tutto ciò che riguarda il teatro. Ne ho un esperienza molto approfondita, poiché solo questo ho fatto, non mi sono perduto in altre cose [ ]. Dalle prime risate o dal primo mormorio di approvazione o disapprovazione capisco la qualità del pubblico, capisco come devo recitare quella sera, quale deve essere la tattica da usare nei confronti di quel pubblico (De Filippo 1986, 134). De Filippo never concealed the love he felt for Shakespeare since he was young. In 1940 he had in fact planned to write La parte di Amleto, a drama based on a dramatisation of Hamlet by an old actor, followed many years after by another project entitled L erede di Shylock (which he suggest to dramatise to the students of 4

5 the Scuola di Drammaturgia of the Centro Teatro Ateneo in Rome, University La Sapienza), in which he wanted to re-open the Shylock case after four hundred centuries. In De Filippo s own words, Ho letto molto da giovane, quando avevo gli occhi buoni, e prima di ogni altro autore scelsi naturalmente il primo della classe: Guglielmo Shakespeare (De Filippo 1986, 81). Prospero s figure influenced many characters created by De Filippo, suspended between the craft of the magician and the falseness of second-rate conjurers, like the illusionist Sik-Sik in the one-act drama dated 1929 entitled Sik-Sik l artefice magico, like Campese in L arte della commedia (1964) and, above all, like Otto Marvuglia in La grande magia (1947; which was also staged by Giorgio Strehler), whose own surname mixes the Italian word meraviglia ( wonder ) and the Neapolitan expression arravuglià (which means to cheat, to deceive, to fool ). But such was the impact of Shakespeare, and of The Tempest in particular, on him, that De Filippo comes to the point of appropriating it by misquoting a famous line We are such stuff /As dreams are made on in a passage in which he talks about his acting method: Nell oltrepassare la soglia del mio camerino debbo lasciare fuori tutto quello che non riguarda direttamente la mia presa di contatto con il pubblico. Ho bisogno di calmarmi, di concentrarmi, di entrare piano piano nelle regole e nei ritmi del mondo del teatro, di acchiappare e tenere stretto nella mano quell incanto fragile e potente, quell armonia dello spirito con la materia, quella sostanza di cui son fatti i sogni, che è per me il teatro (De Filippo 2001, 243). Last, but not least, according to the critical tradition The Tempest is Shakespeare s last written text (at least entirely written by him) and represents, ideally, his farewell from the theatrical scenes. For a strange, and we should add significant, twist of fate, also in De Filippo s case La tempesta turned into his last enterprise as a dramatist, player, and peculiar translator. The first idea for a translation from Shakespeare was suggested by publisher Einaudi in 1983, although the first text which was submitted was A Midsummer s Night Dream. Then the choice fell on The Tempest, which suited De Filippo s nature and character more. As far as Eduardo De Filippo s qualities as translator were concerned, he did not actually know English well, so he asked his wife Isabella Quarantotti to translate Shakespeare s play almost literally. However, in many interviews Isabella Quarantotti admitted to have taken inspiration also from previous translations such as Salvatore Quasimodo s and Cesare Vico Lodovici s. Then the second step consisted of another form of intralingual or better interlingual translation (since the Neapolitan dialect is considered by many linguists as an independent language from Italian), moving from Isabella s contemporary Italian into seventeenth-century Neapolitan. Here are De Filippo s own words in his notes on translation: 5

6 Quanto al linguaggio, come ispirazione ho usato il napoletano seicentesco, ma come può scriverlo un uomo che vive oggi [ ]. Devo aggiungere che in un certo senso ho tradotto direttamente dall inglese, perché mia moglie Isabella mi ha trasportato in italiano letteralmente tutta la commedia [ ] cercando poi in certi suoi libri inglesi il significato doppio e a volte triplo di certe parole arcaiche che non mi persuadevano ( Nota del Traduttore, Shakespeare 1984, 187). De Filippo s translation is to be intended as a complex and articulated target text which follows a peculiar translating itinerary, which can be summed up as follows: The Tempest literal transl. (Isabella Quarantotti) intra/interlinguistic transl. (De Filippo) La tempest As a consequence, La tempesta is not a traditional translation but rather a cultural rewriting which in some sections resembles a version, while in others is almost a literal rendering of Shakespeare s drama. In his own dramatic rewriting, De Filippo succeds in producing a stimulating and a provocative fusion between Shakespeare s and his own culture-bound language, creating a polyphonic text (as Michail Bakhtin would call it) which includes references to Neapolitan literary, religious and even musical traditions. Along with the influence of Salvatore Di Giacomo s poetry, of clergyman Pompeo Santelli s poem Posilecheata (1684) and of the heroicomic epic titled La Ciucceide, the peculiarly narrative and discursive tone of Eduardo De Filippo s drama owes a lot to Giambattista Basile s Lo Cunto de li cunti (1634), translated into English as The Tale of Tales, or The Pentameron. De Filippo inherits from Basile not only his refined language suspended between the love of carnality and even vulgarity and the use of imagination but his reference to family contrasts, which have a first-rate importance in the Shakespearean macrotext as well. Furthermore, Basile s collection of tales includes many stories which clearly resemble Shakespeare s main plot in The Tempest: in the sixth tale of the first day (entitled La gatta cenerentola ) Basile describes the voyage of a prince in the Isle of Fairies (probably inspired by Sardinia), in which there is a cave inhabited by a girl who resembles Miranda. The ninth tale of the fifth day ( Le tre cetra ) is based on the description of an island inhabited by a terrible witch who shares many attributes with Sycorax, while in the ninth tale of the fourth day ( Lu cuorvo ) Milluccio, king of Fossombrone, is criticized for having neglected state affairs, like Prospero. The same tale includes also the daughter of a magician who also shares many traits with Miranda. 6

7 Culture-Bound References Among the culture-bound references De Filippo includes in his peculiar translation, the most important one is the typically Neapolitan concept of the family as the moral and ideological centre of society. In La tempesta there is even the invention of Miranda s mother (who dies when she is a child), introduced because her absence would seem almost inexplicable to a Neapolitan and Italian audience. Furthermore, De Filippo s Prospero is not the serious and almost austere father of The Tempest, but a caring and mother-like figure who usually addresses Miranda with pet names such as piccirella ( my little one ), core mio ( my heart ) or puca d oro ( golden spike ); the last term is an explicit allusion to the importance wheat and corn had in Neapolitan economy and in its rural civilization. In the passage which follows, the first and the last lines of the source text (indicated in italics) have been translated almost literally, while the remaining lines include a significant reference to oro ( gold ) as a synecdoche for corn and wheat. PROSPERO No Harm! I have done nothing but in care of thee, Of thee, my dear one, thee my daughter, who Art ignorant of what thou art (The Tempest 150; Act 1, ii, ll ). PROSPERO Non c è stato dammaggio pe nisciuno, è stata tutta na jurnata d oro, fatta pe tte, p a figliarella mia, ca si cchiú d oro e ll oro. Nasciste d oro E si na puca d oro! Tu luce comm o sole E nun o ssaje, nun saje comme si nnata e addò sì nata (La tempesta 12, my italics). Later on, De Filippo includes a passage which is totally absent in The Tempest, and which reinforces the opinion on the Basilian imprint of La tempesta, based on the importance of the family: Chest é a famiglia: / ccà nce sta lo pate / e ccà stace la figlia (p. 14). In contrast to Shakespeare s Prospero, De Filippo s is characterized by a sense of pietas (in particular when confronted with the usurpers of his reign) which The Tempest lacks. This can be partially justified by the fact that De Filippo s deliberate misreading owes a lot to Giambattista Basile s conciliating message in The Pantameron, whose themes and cultural background can be seen as a sort of mediating textual influence between Eduardo De Filippo and Shakespeare s (antithetical) worlds, expanding and enlarging Shakespeare s genotext (see Genette) in order to better characterize De Filippo s Neapolitan cultural translation. This is the reason why De Filippo s version is far more expanded and far more complex 7

8 than a traditional translation. It is useful, for instance, to compare Prospero s accusing tone (against Antonio and Sebastiano) in Shakespeare with Prospero s conciliating attitude in De Filippo: GONZALO Whether this be Or be not, I ll not swear. PROSPERO [ ][aside to Sebastian and Antonio] But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded, I here could pluck his highness frown upon you And justify you traitors! At this time I will tell no tales (The Tempest 271; Act 5, I, ll ). GONZALO Stongo scetato O duormo a suonno chino? PROSPERO [ ] (A Sebastiano e Antonio) Sia ben venuti a voi, amici miei: state bene accucchiate tutt e dduje. Io mòne, si vulesse Pazzià contro de vuje, ca tutta la certezza farría spaparanzare chell huocchie de Sua Altezza. Contro de chi?, forse m addimannate Contro de vuje, rispondo, no certo contr nuje. Traditore vuje site, lli prove li tengh io, ma non ne tengo genio, e ringraziate a Dio! (La tempesta 165). As for Miranda, in De Filippo s play she is depicted as a fervent believer in God, and she addresses her father with the gentle and affectionate papariello mio ( my little father ; Shakespeare 1984, 10), which contrasts with the reverent tone of Shakespeare s character ( my dearest father ; The Tempest 149; Act 1, ii, l. 10). In the following passage which expands Shakespeare s original text and whose literal translation is quoted in italics Miranda not only repeatedly crosses herself with a peculiar religious gesture, but asks her father to tell her li cunti ( the tales ), with an explicit intertextual allusion to the title of Basile s Pentameron: 8

9 MIRANDA O my heart bleeds To think o th teen that I have turned to you, Which is from my rememberance. Please you, father (The Tempest 153; Act 1, ii, ll. 63-5). MIRANDA Chi sa se me perdona mamma mia, ca ve sto ricurdanno tante guaje, ca pe mme so passate cumm a ll acqua ca passa sott e ponte, e non te nonne Pà, papariello mio, però cuntate: continuate a cuntà, cumm a li cunte de quanno me mettívete a dòrmere sott a li lenzole (La tempesta 18, my italics). The description of the isle on which Prospero s mise en scene takes places suggest that in his La tempesta De Filippo had in mind places he knew well, whereas Shakespeare s setting was the product of his readings and imagination rather than a product of his experience. The places in De Filippo are mostly based on the Isle of Capri, to the point that Eduardo translates the term island with grutticella azzurra, alluding to one of the most stunning areas of this isle. As Angela Leonardi writes (Leonardi 2007, 47), Capri is also mixed with the memories of the little isle of Isca, turned by De Filippo into his poetic retreat and in which he had planned to dramatise La tempesta before his sudden death: FERDINAND Where should this music be? I th air or th earth? It sounds no more; and sure it waits upon Some god o th island. Sitting on a bank, Weeping again the King my Father s wreck, This music crept by mu upon the waters, Allaying both their fury and my passion With its sweet air. Thence I have followed it (Or it had drawn me, rather) but tis gone No, it begins again (The Tempest 178; Act 1, ii, ll ). FERDINANDO A ro vène sta musica e sti vvoce? Vènero a cielo, a terra o a sotto o mare? S è fermata! Peccato Certo sarrà la festa De quacche Dio lucale. Ascenno da na grutticella azzurra, chiagnenno pe la morte e papà mio la riva de lu mare attraversavo, mentre sta stessa musica sunava E lu viento, cu lu mare, se calmava! La melodia era doce, io m a sentevo mentr essa appriesso appriesso me veneva, m accumpagnava e m ha purtato ccàne (La tempesta 51; my italics). 9

10 On many occasions the Shakespearean characters of the play are given a Basilian stamp, because De Filippo uses Basile s The Pentameron both as a textual and as a cultural source. This is also the case of the peculiarly religious discourse which characterizes La tempesta, suspended between the reference to pagan rituals and the cult of mystical figures such as the Madonna della Catena ( the Lady of the Chain ) or San Gennaro, Neaples s patron saint. (Manferlotti 1985, 491-2). In fact, at the beginning of the play and during the tempest Prospero enacts the nostromo laments the absence of these religious figures to incite his crew, closing his speech with the exclamation simmo Napulitane ( we are Neapolitans ): Enter Mariners BOATSWAIN Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, hearts. Yare! Yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master s whistle [to the storm] Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough (The Tempest 144; Act 1, i, ll. 5-8). NOSTROMO (ai marinai che entrano) Guagliú, curríte. Faciteve coraggio: a Madonna a Catena nce aiuta. [ ] Guagliú, facímmece annòre: simmo Napulitane! MARINAI (in coro) Símmo Napulitane! (La tempesta 5, my italics) As far as the characterization of the other dramatic personae is concerned, Ariel is uno scugnizzo furbo e burlone ( a cunning and funny chap ) who possesses human traits, rather than an a mere airy spirit and an obedient servant: ARIEL All hail, great master; grave sir, hail! I come To answer thy best pleasure, be t to fly, To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride On the curled clouds. To thy strong bidding, task Ariel and all his quality (The Tempest 162; Act 1, ii, ll ). ARIELE (appare) Arrivo a spron battuto E comm o viento, pe lu grande rispetto ca te devo, Signore venerabile e padrone. Songo pronto a vulare, a natà sott o mare e summuzzare pe sfidà li pisce. Cu na bracciata de chistu braccio mio, attraversasse lu mare quant è luongo! Pe de da tutte li sfizie e ogne gulío me menasse int o ffuoco zumpasse ncopp e nuvole a cavallo! Mi vado a riposare ca sto stracquo e me fa male o callo (La tempesta 29). 10

11 In one of the most famous passages of The Tempest, the sea-change is significantly translated with relevant lexical variations, which correspond to the more pragmatic and material (or better bodily ) world of La tempesta, even though the rest of the passage is almost literally rendered. Among the most radical variations it is necessary to notice that the sentence pearls that were his eyes becomes ll huocchie so dduje smeralde ( the eyes are two emeralds ), while the allusive something rich and strange turns into the more plastic na statula de marmule ( a marble statue ): ARIEL [Sings] Full fathom five thy father lies, Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes, Nothing of him that doth fade But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea nymphs hourly ring his knell (The Tempest 178; Act 1, ii, ll ). ARIELE (canta) Nfunn a lu mare giace lo pate tujo. L ossa so addeventate de curallo, ll huocchie so dduje smeralde E li spoglie murtale, tutte nzieme se songo trasfurmate: mò è na statula de màrmole prigiato, sculpito e cesellato! Li ninfe de l oceano sunarrànno campane a morto ogni ora (La tempesta 52, my italics). One of the most relevant features in De Filippo s play is the textual grafting of quotations derived from the Neapolitan musical tradition, which contribute to demonstrate the endless potentialities of his cultural translation. With a series of deliberate anachronisms, De Filippo creates an intertextual and intersemiotic dialogue between Shakespeare s drama and many Neapolitan songs, sometimes included in passages which are literally translated. For instance, in the course of an affectionate dialogue between Prospero and Miranda, the magician comments that her face is as white as wax ( tiene a faccella janca cumm a cera ; Shakespeare 1984, 11), alluding to the lines of a popular song titled Quann ammore vo filà, while at the beginning of another passage Caliban invokes the sun (in order to punish Prospero) through an explicit quotation from two famous Neapolitan songs, Oje sole mio and Lo Guarracino. The latter is a song written by Ernesto Murolo and Ernesto Tagliaferro, about an arrogant youngster beat by a jealous boyfriend. 11

12 CALIBAN All the infections that the sun sucks up From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him By inchmeal a disease! His spirits hear me, And yet I needs must curse (The Tempest 207; Act 2, ii, ll. 1-4). CALIBANO Oje sole mio! Famméla tu sta grazia: tutta ll aria festosa e ammalurata, povero sole mio, ca tu risciate da palude e pantane velenose, sputale ncap a Prospero! Cummòglielo de piaghe verminose! Li spirite suoje me sentono, lu ssaccio ma c aggia fa, nun pozzo fa da meno de maledirlo. Piezzo de carugnone! Sulo si le fa còmmodo allora isso dà ll ordine, e sulo tanno arrivano E allora so carocchie, so scoppole, so cauce, piezzeche a meline (La tempesta 90, my italics). It is also to be noticed that De Filippo introduces references to Neapolitan food in a metaphorical key. For instance, in Prospero s memory of his exile, the sense of pietas manifested by Gonzalo is emphasised through a reference to his donation of typical Neapolitan food not only to help Miranda and her Father to survive but also to show his Neapolitan magnanimity: PROSPERO Some food we had, and some fresh water, that A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, Out of his charity who, being then appointed Master of this design did give us [ ] (The Tempest 160, Act 1, ii, ll ). PROSPERO Fuje nu Napulitano la salvezza, fuje nu certo Gonzalo ncarricato a nce mbarcare ncopp a la carcassa: ebbe pietade della nostra sciorta. Ncopp a carcassa Nce mettette ll acqua, biscotte in quantità pane, freselle, tarallucce e vino (La tempesta 26). De Filippo s rendering of Stephano and Trinculo s lazzi is derived from a textual source he shares with Shakespeare himself: the Italian commedia dell arte. One of the most difficult cultural translations is that of a comic text, because of its profound link with the culture it is part of and of the inherent theatrical quality of comedy. As far as the etymology of the two names is concerned, Basile s Lo cunto de li cunti seems again to offer interesting answers: whereas Trinculo derives from a mixture of a vulgar body allusion ( culo, ass in English) and trincare (to drink a 12

13 lot ), in the tenth tale of the first week (entitled La vecchia scortecata ) Basile uses the adjective trincata with the meaning of a sharp person. As for Stephano, the second day of Basile s collection opens with the reference to the time to fill up one s belly ( l ora de n chire lo stefano ). The fact that De Filippo s literal translation of the dialogues between Stephano and Trinculo is effective even in Neapolitan shows that Shakespeare and De Filippo drew inspiration from the same comic paradigms: TRINCULO Stephano? If thou be st Stephano, touch me and speak to me, for I am Trinculo! Be not afeard thy good friend Trinculo. STEPHANO If thou be st Trinculo, come forth. I ll pull thee by the lesser legs. If any be Trinculo s legs, these are they [Pulls him from under the cloak] Thou art very Trinculo indeed! How cam st thou to be the siege of this mooncalf? Can he vent Trinculos? (The Tempest 212-3; Act 2, ii, ll ). TRINCULO Stefano, si tu overamente si Stefano, toccame e parlame, pòcca io songo Trinculo. Non avere appaura, so Trinculo, lu buono amico Trinculo. STEFANO Si tu si alluvero Trinculo, jesce ccà fora. Te tiro pe lli gamme cchiù corte, pòcca si mmiez a tutte sti gamme ce stanno chelle de Trinculo, chelli ccorte songo li ssoje. (Lo tira fuori dal mantello) Ma in veritade si proprio Trinculo? Cumme te si truvato sotto allu culo de chistu nzallanuto? Che fa, lu caca-trincule? (La tempesta 96-97). 13

14 As far as the performative qualities of De Filippo s La tempesta are concerned, the original project consisted of a non-traditional translation for the stage which consistently differed from another famous Italian dramatization: La tempesta directed by Giorgio Strehler in 1978 (inspired by Agostino Lombardo s translation). In Strehler s case, his La tempest focused on the metadramatic elements of the source text, to the point that even the staging was deliberately minimalistic, with all the technical devices showed to the public (as in the case of Ariel s flights on a visible rope), following a typical Brechtian model based upon estranging techniques both in staging and acting (Bajma Griga 2003, 37). Moreover, the choice of using Neapolitan and Venetian dialects to convey Stephano and Trinculo s lazzi in a more effective way represents another relevant feature which characterizes Strehler s dramatization. On the contrary, De Filippo who did not have the opportunity to witness any staging of his La tempesta because of his death repeatedly suggested to use marionettes instead of real actors, adding pre-recorded voices. As a matter of fact, he decided to record all the character s voices (with the only exception of Miranda s) using different intonations and accents to give each person a specific vocal identity, thus leaving his public a token of his last (and uncompleted) masterpiece. The recordings took place in 1983, between De Filippo s residence in Rome and a professional recording studio in Velletri. As for Trinculo s voice, De Filippo took inspiration from Pulcinella (a typical character of Neapolitan theatre) whose most peculiar feature was a strong nasal tone, while in Stephano s case De Filippo referred to the figure of the drunkard in traditional Neapolitan comedy. In this sense, De Filippo s interest in the voice as pure dramatic act is not too different from Carmelo Bene s experimental approach to what he calls the phone in his dramas. Whereas, on the one hand, De Filippo admitted the influence of Gordon Craig s theatre without actors, the importance he gives to narration (rather than to mere acting) is justified by the interest De Filippo also had in the Japanese bunraku theatre, a highly formalized drama where each movement is fixed by rigid acting gestures which correspond to a specific emotion, and where the richly dressed marionettes are accompanied by musicians on stage. De Filippo aimed at combining Neapolitan language and theatrical tradition (where puppets also play an important role) to Eastern dramatic techniques, aiming to offer his public a narrative rather than a performative translation for the stage (such as Giorgio Strehler s), centred upon the prevalence of telling over showing. Even though De Filippo s choices look daring and original, his version seems to be paradoxically coherent with the textual features of The Tempest, considered by many critics especially because of the influence of romance as one the most narrative of his plays, where most of the events are not staged but actually told to an audience. Nearly one year after De Filippo s death and during the Biennale di 14

15 Venezia, the famous Italian Puppet Company of the Fratelli Colla decided to give voice and body to De Filippo s project, through a dramatization of his La tempesta which was respectful of his own stage directions and indications. The pre-recorded voice of Eduardo De Filippo who played all the drama s characters perfectly fit in with the richly dressed marionettes of the Fratelli Colla and with the evocative atmosphere of the drama. Rather than paying a slavish tribute to Shakespeare, De Filippo turns the latter s drama into something rich and strange by modifying its linguistic and cultural background, succeeding in reproducing and enhancing all of its narrative potentialities. His decision to revise a canonical text cannot be approached as a merely provocative strategy but as the (re)creative reconfiguration of a great text in another cultural, linguistic and dramatic context. De Filippo s relationship with Shakespeare is not therefore a reverential one, but a complex dialogue based on negation and assimilation, in order to convey a peculiar idea of theatre and culture to the audience. In an interview, Paola Quarenghi underlines this familiarity and this lack of reverence in De Filippo which justifies and motivates his indiscriminate love for Shakespeare s idea of the theatre: Per Eduardo c era questa distinzione di fondo tra chi viveva il teatro completamente e chi, pur facendolo, ne restava in fondo estraneo. L uomo di teatro vero per lui era quello che recita quattordici volte la settimana. E Shakespeare gli era vicino da questo punto di vista: era uno che in teatro poteva fare tutto: scriveva, era azionista della propria compagnia, dirigeva gli attori, recitava, faceva il fantasma nell Amleto era dentro il teatro (Lombardo 2004, 76-77). De Filippo s project can be interpreted as an attempt to give dignity to the Neapolitan literary culture, and to move against the grain of sterile globalizations of Shakespeare s text, proving the incredible vitality of The Tempest through the perspective of a transgressive translation strategy. De Filippo s syncretic approach to Shakespeare s drama thus turns into a testimony not only of his time and of his place but an extraordinary translation adventure for all times and all places. 15

16 Bibliography AALTONEN, Sirkku Time-Sharing on Stage. Drama Translation in Theatre and Society. Clevedon, Buffalo, Toronto, Sydney: Multilingual Matters. BAJMA Griga, Stefano La tempesta di Shakespeare per Giorgio Strehler. Pisa: Edizioni ETS. BAKHTIN, Mihail The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Texas: University of Texas Press. BASILE, Gianbattista Lo cunto de li cunti. Ed. Michele Rak. Milan: Garzanti. BASSNETT, Susan Still Trapped in the Labyrinth: Further Reflections on Translation and Theatre. Constructing Cultures. Ed. Susan Bassnett and André Lefevere. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, BENJAMIN, Walter The Task of the Translator. Illuminations. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, DAWSON, Antony B International Shakespeare. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage. Ed. Stanley Wells and Sarah Stanton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, DE FILIPPO, Eduardo Lezioni di Teatro. Turin: Einaudi Ringraziamento. Biblioteca Teatrale, 57-58, gennaio-giugno. DERRIDA, Jacques Des Tours de Babel. Difference in Translation. Ed. Joseph Graham. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, GENETTE, Gérard Palimpsestes. La littérature au second degré. Paris: Seuil. HORTMANN, Wilhelm Shakespeare on the Political Stage in the Twentieth Century. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage, cit., ELAM, Keir The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama. London and New York: Methuen. LEONARDI, Angela Tempeste. Eduardo incontra Shakespeare. Naples: Gaetano Colonnese. LOMBARDO, Agostino (ed.) Shakespeare e il Novecento. Bulzoni: Rome Eduardo e Shakespeare. Parole di voce e non d inchiostro. Rome: Bulzoni. MANFERLOTTI, Stefano. July Review of La tempesta. Belfagor 40. 4, MARINETTI, Cristina The Limits of the Play Text: Translating Comedy. New Voices in Translation Studies 1, PAVIS, Patrice Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture. Trans. Loren Kruger. London and New York: Routledge. RUTELLI, Romana Note su La Tempesta di Eduardo. The Tempest. Dal testo alla scena. Ed. Mariangela Tempera. Bologna: Clueb, SERPIERI, Alessandro Come comunica il teatro: dal testo alla scena. Milan: Il Formichiere. SHAKESPEARE, William La tempesta. Trans. into Neapolitan by E. De Filippo. Turin: Einaudi La tempesta. Trans. Agostino Lombardo. Milan: Garzanti The Tempest. Ed. Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T. Vaughan. London: Arden. TAYLOR, Christopher Language to Language. A Practical and Theoretical Guide for Italian/English Translators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. VENUTI, Lawrence The Translator s Invisibility. A History of Translation. London: Routledge The Scandals of Translation. Towards an Ethics of Difference. London: Routledge 16

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