A critical translation of Charles Collé's 'Le Galant escroc'
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Charles Collé (1709-1783) enjoyed the reputation amongst his contemporaries of an accomplished writer of popular songs and of comédies de société. Although three of his plays were performed at the Comédie-francaise during his lifetime, the vast majority of his work was written with a view to performance at the private theatres in Paris, notably that of his main benefactor, the due d'Orleans. This thesis looks at one of the plays written for the duc's circle of friends, namely Le Galant escroc (1753), the intention being to produce a translation into English for performance purposes. As a preliminary to translation, the play is analysed in the light of four aspects of eighteenth-century society and literature: a discussion of Collé's life and career; relevant aspects of the theatre and of literary trends in the eighteenth century, with special reference to the private theatres of Paris; the social background of the characters portrayed in Le Galant escroc, with particular reference to the financiers and their relationship to the members of the nobility; and characteristic features of eighteenth-century French. The translation strategy is based both on the above considerations and on consideration of relevant translation theories. The translation retains the eighteenth-century setting, with some elements of archaism in the language and markers to remind the audience that the action is taking place in France. Emphasis is placed on theatricality and playability, but the author's intentions, in as far as they are deductible, are respected.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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