2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Traduire l'Ambigu: Translation Problems in Roland Topor's L'Ambigu
Brendan E. Ezvan
Prof. Patrick Lobert, Faculty Mentor

In his 1996 play L'Ambigu, Roland Topor subverts the literary myth of Don Juan as the archetypal seducer, instead depicting him as abruptly falling in love with his feminine alter ego in an extended monologue that blurs the lines between reality and illusion. My presentation considers the unique issues involved in translating a text that, in adapting the mythical and literary figure of Don Juan to the stage, is an example of réécriture. In particular, I will examine how the play requires the translator to negotiate between the dramatist's modern artistic voice, deeply influenced by the aesthetics of the avant-garde Groupe Panique which Topor formed together with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Fernando Arrabal, and the aristocratic and often archaic language of Don Juan. Examples of specific translation problems and solutions will be provided, ultimately demonstrating how the process of translation sheds light on the 'ambiguity' of the text.

Keywords: Roland Topor, L'Ambigu, Translation, Don Juan, Réécriture, Groupe Panique

Topic(s):French Capstone
French

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 312-1
Location: VH 1324
Time: 1:00

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