Translating Pirandello:  Babble, Drivel and Scribble

Translating Pirandello:  Babble, Drivel and Scribble

You may have seen a production of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in search of an Author (Sei personaggi in cerca d’autor), or at least heard of it and added it to your to-see list.

But what of his other works?

Pirandello wrote 43 plays (and countless short stories) and has probably made as definitive and lasting impact on Italian theatre as Shakespeare has done for the English stage.

Yet outside of Italy, his works are not that well known.  This is dramatically illustrated by the fact that (at time of writing) the Italian Wikipedia page for Luigi Pirandello cites 61 references and is very comprehensive, whereas the English language version cites only nine and is sketchy.  Why?

In this talk we explore the difficulties of traversing language boundaries in literature.  We will also cover the topic of automated translation, with some reference to the After Babelfish article first published in 2000.

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