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4.7 out of 5 stars13
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 December 2011
It's a great play, as other people have said, but does anyone else agree that the translation looks dodgy? For a start, sometimes it loses specificity for no reason that was clear to me. 'Le rideau s'est leve' becomes 'the play started'. 'Ce soir' becomes 'in a few hours' time.' An iron spade becomes a tin one for no reason I could fathom. Shooting 'dans le tas'- into the crowd - is 'the first comer.' 'Dans un trou', with its ironic foreshadowing, becomes 'locked up in the dark' There's often an unnecessary wordiness, compared with Anouilh's precise, terse prose. 'Ou alors je refuse' becomes the mealy and cliched, 'or else I decline the offer, lock, stock and barrel.' And some translations simply look wrong. Nourrice/ nounou gets translated as the lower-class 'Nan' (meaning 'Grandmother') rather than 'Nanny' (Antigone is a princess, of course). The guards speak a bizarre fake-demotic of 'chap' and 'blotto.' And on p59 a whole speech by Creon about Eurydice is missed out, so that we never learn what he thinks of his wife.
The greatest shame is the disappearance of the repetitions of key words that Anouilh uses for his subtle and ironic effects. The three 'voilas' from the Chorus, at the start, middle and end of the play disappear. The guard - called 'une brute' by stage directions becomes 'a rough diamond.' This is not just an unwarranted softening of nastiness. It also loses the way the authorial judgements echo Creon's, who also uses the word 'brute' of the guard (translated 'louts') and of the whole populace (mildly translated 'clods'). Anouilh's hints of brother-sister incest through the word 'voyou' are also swept under the carpet. Used of Polynices it becomes 'good-for-nothing'; of Antigone's suspected lover 'young layabout'; of her young admirers 'the boys'; and of the two brothers 'gangsters'. As for the repeated word 'tranquille', used ironically of order under Nazism, it gets fudged so the whole point'll be completely missed.
There's plenty more in this vein. But the alternative, older Galantiere translation isn't that great either. Can anyone recommend a decent one?
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on 26 March 2002
This is a very good English version of Jean Anouilh's Antigone. It includes notes and a commentary, which are very helpful, especially if you are studying this text. The translation stays true to the original text, so again, it is useful if you are studying it.
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on 14 June 2013
great, though would have been better to have the english translation and french script as part of the same book.
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on 7 November 2015
Already proving very stimulating to a student who is primarily discovering the Sophocles original and hadn't before now known of the Anouilh. For me it brought back memories of playing Creon thirty-five years ago in an amateur production. His speech about how someone had to take over the reins in ruined Thebes sounded remarkably like Mrs Thatcher before her election......
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on 23 June 2014
This is a gem of a play which has a poetry all of its own. It also has a fascinating heritage, based on the dilemma of whether you should resist (the Nazis) even if such acts could lead to the deaths of family and friends. It a subject considered by Simone de Beauvoir in the Le Sang des Autres. This volume is well laid out and a must for any Francophile.
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on 7 October 2001
Having already owned this book and then losing it I know how important it is to have this book in your personal library. This book is an absolute must have for all aspiring thesps as it gives perfect material for any up and coming auditions you may have. It is also a good book for any one interested in greek myths as it looks back on the tradgedy that befell oedipus and the curse that fell on every family member to be born to his family name. I absolutely love this text as it is an inriguing look into the politics, beliefs and morals of that time.
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on 5 May 2000
a classic book which cleverly opens up deeper meanings of life Antigone, who serves as a kind of messenger to us all to look at the greater importance of responsability in life...a great read and a definite recommendation.
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on 10 August 2014
Part of a Masters set book list. An interesting read but I haven't read the original yet so can't say how it compares.
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on 20 May 2013
I studied this play over 50 years ago, so it was good to re-read it in my seventies. The notes for students are very useful, but rather simplistic.
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on 12 December 2014
very french
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