Plot summary and offer of (some else's) translation
Posted by Laraine on July 16, 1998 at 10:26:07:
In response to I think I got it! (read this one), written by Barbara on July 15, 1998 at 17:51:07
I have a translation of this piece by Richard Wilbur (a good American poet, if you don't recognize the name), and I'd be happy to type it in, but in all honesty, even with my meager French (and it's that, believe me ;} ), I can tell that it uses a good deal of poetic license (i.e., it isn't a very direct translation) and doesn't have the formal brilliance of the Racine. (Like the Racine, it rhymes, which impedes a very literal translation.)
I know that I'd rather read Barbara's version, but if that's a lot of work for you, Barb, that you'd rather not do, then I'll transcribe this. Or, if you'd like, I could post it and you could "correct" it, telling us how you'd have done it. Or I could email the Wilbur version to you and you could use it as you will. ...
At any rate, here's a plot summary I found of the entire play:
from France, Peter, ed. The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French. NY: Oxford UP, 1995. p. 27.
AndromaqueOne of Rachine's most successful tragedies, first performed in 1667. Set in Epirus after the Trojan War, it concerns four people locked in an impossible chain of unrequited passions. Andromache, Hector's faithful widow, is the captive of Pyrrhus; he loves her and disdains the Greek princess Hermione, whom he is engaged to wed [so it sounds to me like the parallel runs Andromache=Elinor, Hermione=Lucy, Pyrrhus=Edward, although it is of course not exact]. Hermione loves Pyrrhus and is vainly loved by Oreste, who has been sent by the Greeks to claim Andromache's infant son [i.e., Hector's heir] from Pyrrhus. A series of volte-faces and vacillations leads to the murder by Orestes of Pyrrhus, who is about to marry Andromache. Hermoine, having ordered the killing, disowns it and kills herself. Oreste succumbs to despair and madness. Andromache is left in command; Troy has been avenged on Greece.
Not exactly a the story WE love!
- translating Barbara 16:14:47 7/16/98 (4)
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