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Roddy Doyle’s translation of Gogol’s The Government Inspector

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Roddy Doyle’s translation of Gogol’s political satire The Government Inspector opened in late November at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. On this occasion, Doyle published an interesting piece in the weekend supplement of The Irish Times, providing some insight into the translation or adaptation process involved when the re-writer doesn’t know the original language. Since he doesn’t speak a word of Russian, Doyle had to rely on a raw translation of the play from which he then created his own version. Funnily enough, Doyle opens his essay with five different translations of the opening line of the play, a reminder, if necessary, that no two translations are ever identical. The play runs until 28 January 2012.

Written by Patrick Lennon

December 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm