ISSN: 20428022
First published in 2011
2 issues per volume
Volume 7 Issue 2
Cover Date: November 2017
Luzel’s ghosts: The unfinished business of translating folk tales for performance
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Authors:  Michael Wilson 
DOI: 10.1386/btwo.7.2.159_1

Breton,French,folk tales,ghost stories,François-Marie Luzel,theatre,translation,Veillées

This article emerges from the author’s work on translating a selection of folktales collected by the nineteenth-century Breton folklorist François-Marie Luzel. It argues for a new approach to the translation of folktale texts that draws less from the traditions of literary translation and more from the current thinking around stage translation. It proposes that our understanding of the folktale text could benefit from a consideration of theatre scholarship (particularly Marvin Carlson’s theories of ‘ghosting’) and that the emergence in recent decades of the figure of the contemporary professional storyteller asks us to think of the folktale not simply as a text of performance, but as a text for performance. Furthermore, it argues that the act of translation is in itself an act of performance, made within the context of all pervious performances and is, therefore, like all performances, provisional, incomplete and subject to revision.
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