Les revenants [Ibsen Henrik] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 50 rooms; 18 heroes; scenes. Immersive show with full dive-in effect, based on Henrik Ibsen’s play “Ghosts”. The action takes place in the ancient mansion. This article describes the author’s experience in translating several of Ibsen’s plays Une maison de poupée, Un ennemi du peuple, Les Revenants, Le Canard.

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As a classical author writing in a minority language, Henrik Ibsen constitutes a peculiar case and the problems relating to the translation of his plays into other languages are especially relevant. Through practical examples, the translator shows how these nuances can affect the whole interpretation of the characters and even of the reevenants, as Lea uses them to set the tone revenante the scenes. Swear words, mispronunciations and grammatical errors can, for example, turn a tragic scene into a comic one.

This article shows how the translator confronted these difficulties and how she decided to solve them. The description of her experience can also constitute a practical example of how, when dealing with theatrical texts, that is, oral texts, one cannot avoid taking a stand on theoretical discussions about whether to translate for the page or translate for the stage, whether to make literal, philological translations or more free and oral ones.

Somehow he managed to become world famous while writing in a language spoken by very few people. The enormous influence he has had on theatre around the world has been exerted mostly through translation. The research done ibseb Liyang Chang, Barbara Haveland, Olga Drobot and myself led to the conclusion that it was time to produce new translations of his plays. But first I will present a short overview of the reception of Ibsen in Spain, 2 which may explain the kind of translation I decided to produce.

It will also show how my initial intention of making strictly literal translations had to be modified along the way because Pes experienced the need to deal with sensitive issues concerning, for example, repetition and social variations in speech. The revenante Spanish performance took place in Barcelona in April The play performed on that occasion was An Enemy of the People.

Although official gevenants received it coldly, it aroused enthusiasm among leftist supporters. The labour movement, and especially the anarchists, were at the forefront of educational experiments in Spain at that time.

They often looked to foreign authors for inspiration and they were especially interested in theatre. Ibsen was one of their favourites. Not alone did they translate and publish some of his plays, they also staged them. In fact the anarchist movement played a decisive role in the initial reception of Ibsen in Spain. Many discussions revolved around the question of why Spaniards were so indifferent to an author who raised such passions in other parts of Europe.

Among the many translations that appeared during those years was that of Pedro Pellicena.

Despite its age and the fact that it was translated from German and French into Spanish, it is a translation that I particularly value. Ten years later another theatre in the capital produced Ghosts Gengangere, premiered in Ibsen had a strong influence on the Catalonian modernist movement of the late 19 th century and early 20 th.

The young Catalonian authors were interested in a revolutionary author from Norway, a country that was finding its way towards independence, and they saw in him a possible example of how to develop their own national Catalonian literature. However, some editorial work was carried out.

The Experience of Translating Ibsen’s Plays into Spanish

It was done by Else Wasteson, who is one of the few people who translated Ibsen directly from Norwegian into Spanish Ibsen, He directed it, played the leading role and even designed the scenery. Again, lfs situation in Catalonia and the rest of Spain is quite different. Many of the Catalonian productions of Ibsen have used new translations of Ibsen into Catalonian. Even if most of these translations were done through a relay language, they are modern, contemporary and often written by theatre people.


However, this is not the case for translations into Spanish. Stage directors have nevertheless often relied on old translations or even on translations into other languages. The situation is not dissimilar with regard to the literary translations published in book form.

Even if some of the plays were translated in a satisfactory fashion in the early twentieth century, they ibeen nonetheless becoming increasingly outdated. Each language and culture offers its own possibilities, which can only be partly rendered into another language. However, I am convinced that there can be many extremely different and equally good translations of the same text.

Les Revenants

Different translations focus on different aspects of the text and open different doors to the original. That means that you can come to appreciate Ibsen, Dostoyevsky or Cervantes even if you can read them only in translation. At the very beginning of the project, I set some basic rules.

As one of the most important innovations Ibsen introduced into the theatre was the use of everyday language, I wanted to pay special attention to that aspect of his work. One of the main arguments for producing new translations of classical authors is precisely to make them contemporary.

At the same time, I believed it was important to keep the language neutral in order to counteract the speed with which it ages. The oral character of the texts themselves forced me to approach my work increasingly as translations for the stage. Here are some examples of the kind of choices I made. In a way, it was a risky choice. On the other hand, it was a good starting point as it forced me, right from the beginning, to face many of the main difficulties associated with translating Ibsen.

Her language is therefore radically modern. She uses slang and her words reflect exactly what she is: It was therefore necessary to allow her to speak a radically modern language in Spanish as well.

Immersive show “The Revenants” in Moscow, Russia

As repetitions are often avoided in literature, translators frequently resort to alternative translations for the same phrase. I suppose the aim is to provide a richer language. Lss my opinion, however, it is important to preserve repetitions within a text.

Duties towards religion, family and society represented the trap in which women where caught. As his characters keep saying revenanys so many plays, people also have duties towards themselves. For instance, it is funny to see how the sentence rfvenants the young Hilde. There are two standard interpretations of this play. While some see in Dr.

Stockmann an absolute hero, others have a more nuanced vision of him. The first interpretation is more popular outside Norway.

When one compares the original with the Spanish translations, it is clear that Dr. In the Norwegian original, one can sense that the situation he has been drawn into in the play is driving him mad. Depriving a translation of this linguistic development ignores an important dimension of a character. Translating into Spanish, this was aggravated on two fronts. Firstly, Norwegian and Spanish swearing habits are radically different while Northerners base their swearing on religious notions, Spaniards keep theirs close to sex.

In fact, even when translating revennts literature, translators will sometimes encounter resistance from some of the major ibsne houses unwilling to keep the swearwords of the original.

The same happens with incoherencies, which are often ironed out or skipped altogether. In order to mitigate the shock all the swearing could give some Spanish readers, I decided to isben explanatory footnotes. It is a deeply political play, which may explain why it aroused interest in a country with such a turbulent political history. Stockmann declares the liberals de liberale constitute a group he particularly despises: I found it important not to introduce this kind of explanation of the original that can ubsen the interpretation of the play.


In Ghosts some of the main characters Engstrand, a carpenter, and his alleged daughter Regine have a lower social status. The nuances in their lines are so accurate that, in the Norwegian original, one can feel the difference between the language these characters use when they speak to each other and the one they use when making an effort to speak in a regenants refined manner.

Regine works for Mrs. Alving who uses a refined language and Pastor Manders speaks a language that sounds bombastic. Those shifts of register have ibseh been overlooked by available Spanish translations of Ibsen. Modern Spanish has tended to diminish social differences in speech.

When characters are made to speak contemporary Spanish, their language needs to be simplified. Gina does not have a refined background but, in order to please her husband, she tries to use refined words, often with bad results. When using cultivated words, she sometimes chooses the right word but pronounces it wrongly; in other cases she uses a mistaken word that is similar in sound to the one she is looking for. But often she simply uses popular or dialectal led of standard words.

All this produces a comical effect that plays an important role in the play. When the text is deprived of this, some scenes become more tragic than they are revenantw Norwegian. Complex words in Germanic revenantd such as Norwegian are usually the ones derived from Latin, while in Spanish those words are commonplace.

To re-create this confusion of words, one must look for new pairs revenats similar words; in many cases these words have to be moved revenanrs a different place ivsen the text for them to make sense. Reproducing the popular pronunciation of standard words turned out to be the most difficult part though. However, in Spanish literature there are fewer examples of this, and fewer still in translated literature.

Whereas the introduction of swear words into translations can be surprising or shocking, mispronunciations typical of a more dialectal language can sound ridiculous. Yet, in this instance, it is not the character that utters them who sounds ridiculous, but the author or translator who pens them. Moreover, if done systematically, their inclusion attracts too much attention. I wanted to keep it revvenants her husband Hjalmar corrects her in a quite comical scene that William Archer translated thus: Yes, you and your father will do yourselves a mischief some day with that there pigstol.

I believe I have told you this kind of firearm is called a pistol. I considered the possibility of using piztolabecause in certain parts of the south of Spain it is normal to change the sound [s] into a [z], and some people still regard that as a mispronunciation more than a dialectal feature. But this would have meant that Gina would be seen as a Spanish southerner.

So in the end, after checking that they actually had revolvers in Norway at the time, I decided to use that word instead, even if a pistol and a revolver are not exactly the same revenwnts. Gina and her husband are photographers, so the word appears often. In Norwegian it is portrettbut Gina always skips the first r and says potrett. Here it was easy. In Spanish it is called retrato and I could say revenahts because it is not uncommon to lose an r that appears between a consonant and a vowel.