Entre performativité et altérité : les traductions québécoises du théâtre irlandais

Authors: Ruane, Aileen
Advisor: Kent, Brad; Dumont, François
Abstract: The relationship between Quebec and Ireland forms the basis for an inquiry into how translation strategies and practices have filtered Irishness through a Québécois sensibility. This thesis analyses the relationship between performativity, identity, and appropriation in Quebec theatre. As constructions, identity and translation require rethinking how the ideology attached to identity, translation, and language on stage influences the cultural power relationships in and between Ireland and Quebec. The performative presence of alterity on stage, in this case, of Irishness, as constructed through Québécois-French offers an opportunity through which I question Quebec’s literary imaginary as it is filtered through modern Irish theatre. The performative and linguistic forms of the Québécois translations of Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw, The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, Howie the Rookie by Mark O’Rowe, as well as Calvary, The Resurrection, and Purgatory by W.B. Yeats, demonstrate the attraction to and affinity for a wide range of subjects felt by Québécois translators that directly and indirectly question Irishness in the source culture throughout the twentieth century. Each chapter features an analysis of the source texts against their translations, but also studies the mitigating factors in the reception of these plays by theatrical scholars in Quebec and Ireland, offering a transnational and comparative cultural perspective. The critical questions addressed in this thesis include Bernard Shaw’s complex relationship with his Irish birthplace, Martin McDonagh’s often strained relationship with Ireland resulting from how his plays are received internationally, Mark O’Rowe’s subversion of the storytelling form through the monologue play, and Yeats’s appropriation of Noh theatre. This thesis places these works in a new analytical context by examining the processes and means through which the plays and the translations are linguistically and dramaturgically situated within the Québécois theatrical field. Translated Irish theatre performed in Quebec reveals the potential agency of Irish alterity through a comparison of Québécois-French and the English language as it is spoken in Ireland, and as both languages subvert linguistic norms. This relationship helps to fill a void in the discourse surrounding translation and theatre studies. Comparing Québécois translations to their source texts does not constitute an attempt to privilege the translations over the source texts; however, these translations also do not represent a vilification of the originality of the Québécois literary field. Québécois translations of Irish theatre do not function as cultural monoliths, which is to say, they do not represent fixed versions of Irishness or Québécité. Instead, each harnesses Québécois-French via proactive translation strategies to highlight the different perspectives that speak to the Francophone experience in North America. In problematising the notion of performativity, as it relates to identity and the performance thereof, we can see how the ultimate goal of staged performance, the mise en scène, suggests a process of authentication rather than a representation that is inherently inferior to the source text, owing to a perception that the former offers a fixed and potentially stereotypical version of identities that are products of overlapping and layering cultural and linguistic influences. Within this thesis, I explore the relationship to Irishness and aesthetics of the Irish theatrical field as it reflects a similar evolution within a Quebec society that has also experienced large-scale changes in cultural and linguistic identity in modern times.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2020
Open Access Date: 29 April 2020
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/39090
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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