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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Worlds Elsewhere - Andrew Dickson

I’d never given much thought to Shakespeare in translation – I mean, the thing about his work is his amazing use of the English language.     You find lists of words that he pioneered in his work that we’re still using today.     Heck, we’ve basically moved on from that particular form of the language, and yet, his work is still taught in schools today.

But, it turns out his work has moved around the globe, and in many cases been translated, and Shakespeare has been adopted into other cultures as a national poet/playwright.     Or, his work has come to be associated with some very fraught ideas of colonialism and national identity (see: South Africa), or even with the very nature of what is art for the masses vs. the intellectuals (see: China).    

There are five sections: Germany, the US, India, South Africa, and China.     The author travels to each, so you get a really great flavor of the places involved.     It’s just a fascinating read.

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