Rewriting "The book of disquiet"

O'Thomas, Mark (2010) Rewriting "The book of disquiet". In: International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) 2010, July 2010, Munich, Germany.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Listed as one of The Guardian’s top 100 books of all time, Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet was discovered in a trunk in his apartment in Lisbon after his death in 1935. Part novel, part memoir, part philosophical meditation on the futility of living, Pessoa’s Livro defies definition and continues to endure as a testament to modernist writing.

This paper will provide a personal, critical reflection on the creation of my current adaptation and translation of Fernando Pessoa’s Livro do Desassossego for the stage. Through an examination of the (re)construction of meaning into the live art form of theatre, I will assume a position that will seek to dispel myths of difference in the practices of translation and adaptation and will argue for new paradigms for seeing these processes (or perhaps process). The paper will also provide a location for seeing the practice of re-writing as a counterpoint to the binary translation/adaptation where arguments about literals/versions in British theatrical translation will be framed as inherently redundant. Just as Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet forces us to question what a novel really is, this new performance text forces us to question the premises upon which the terms ‘translation’ and ‘adaptation’ might be used in contemporary theatre practice.

Keywords:Theatre translation, Fernando Pessoa, Adaptation
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:5634
Deposited On:22 May 2012 20:06

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