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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: December ::
Re: Iambic Pentameter
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2252  Thursday, 7 December 2000

[1]     From:   Ching-hsi Perng <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 Dec 2000 00:30:27 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Dec 2000 09:18:17 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter

[3]     From:   Mary Jane Miller <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Dec 2000 13:39:08 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter

[4]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Dec 2000 13:46:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter

[5]     From:   Peter Groves <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Dec 2000 16:41:22 +1100
        Subj:   Re SHK 11.2229 Iambic Pentameter


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ching-hsi Perng <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 Dec 2000 00:30:27 +0800
Subject: 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter

The iambic pentameter and blank verse have also intrigued and baffled
many a Chinese translator of Shakespeare. Attempts at approximation
ranges from strict adherence to the principle of two Chinese characters
to an English foot, resulting in ten characters per line in the sonnet,
to extremely free prose renditions.

Just this year, a New Complete Shakespeare in Chinese, under the general
editorship of Fang Ping, appeared in Hobei, China, and Taipei, Taiwan.
In this edition, the translators adopted what is called "sound unit" for
the translation of the iambic foot. The Chinese version of each line of
the blank verse contains "approximately" five "sound units," each
consisting of a varying number of Chinese characters, mostly 2 to 3.

While the very conscious search for a metrical equivalent results in a
much more controlled and concise translation, the success of this
approximation on the ear of the audience will depend, in large measure,
on the competence of the actors. If they cannot detect the rhythm of the
sound unit, the delivery will be prosaic at best.

Incidentally, Mr. Fang's New Complete Shakespeare is the third
"complete" translation after Liang Shih-Ch'iu and Zhu Shenghao, which
were done about half a century ago. The Hobei edition, published last
January, is printed in simplified Chinese characters. The Taipei
edition, released in October, is in regular Chinese characters, and is
appended with a volume that I edited of recent critical essays on
Shakespeare by Taiwan scholars.

Ching-Hsi Perng
National Taiwan University
Taipei, Taiwan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Dec 2000 09:18:17 -0800
Subject: 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2233 Re: Iambic Pentameter

Just to add my 2

 

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