Multilingual Shakespeare: A South African Reflects on Translation and Performance in Germany

2017. In Marais and Feinauer (eds), Translation Studies beyond the Postcolony (Cambridge Scholars Publishing), pp.94-129.

The material in this book chapter emerges from a broader comparative and collaborative project that seeks to link Shakespeare studies in the South African and German contexts. Applying one of the key terms of reference established by the editors, I consider certain aspects of “the postcolony in the Global North” by reflecting on my engagement, as a South African scholar, with some of the Shakespearean manifestations I encountered as translated and performed on German stages during an extended research visit in 2015. There are obvious differences between the history and current state of Shakespeare reception in these two countries, and – although there are also numerous points of intersection – I start by dwelling on these differences. I then address some of the conceptual challenges entailed in defining “the postcolony in the Global North”, before giving careful attention to the translation and performance choices made in selected Shakespeare productions.