WILSON, M., 2017. Luzel’s ghosts: The unfinished business of translating folktales for performance. Book 2.0, 7 (2), pp.159-168.
This article emerges from the author’s work on translating a selection of folktales collected by the nineteenth-century Breton folklorist Francois-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 previous performances and is, therefore, like all performances, provisional, incomplete and subject to revision.
This paper was published in the journal Book 2.0 and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1386/btwo.7.2.159_1.