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Hamlet lives happily ever after in Arabic: the genesis of the field of drama translation in Egypt

By S Hanna


In writing the history of drama translation in Egypt, historians have mostly conceived of translation in terms of a linear progression from infidelity to fidelity. The sweeping obsession with the linguistic proximity of translated drama to its corresponding source text has tended to blind these historians to the overall network of socio-cultural and aesthetic factors that conditioned the production, circulation and reception of drama translation in late 19th- and early 20th century Egypt. This paper challenges mainstream histories of the early translations of Shakespeare’s drama in Egypt through a reading of the first published translation of ‘Hamlet’ into Arabic (1902). Drawing on Bourdieu’s genetic sociology, this translation is read against the backdrop of an emerging field of drama translation, and hence is shown to reveal the influence of the socio-cultural factors that conditioned the formation of this field

Topics: HN, PE, PI, PR, P1, HM, mem_text_and_place, other
Publisher: St. Jerome Publishing
Year: 2005
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