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Translation and the Shape of Performed Material : On the Multilingual Stand-Up Comedy Shows of Eddie Izzard

Abstract : The paper explores the multiple-language stand-up shows of Eddie Izzard, a British comedian who performs in different languages (French, German and Spanish), as well as in English, the shows being translated versions of each other and not different shows. Translating humour is a notoriously difficult task, and the article examines how, in this context, shows are made to be functional across countries and languages. The corpus is an interesting case of semi-self-translation: the translation, prepared with a team that includes the comedian’s brother, is tested on stage. It is supposed to be literal: this is based on the idea that humour is universal and not national, and the performances aim at testifying to this. The endeavour provides interesting material for the analysis of translation against a multimodal background, since the shows are performed rather than just recited or ‘read out’. Set in a multicultural context, the shows are also written from the start with the aim of being translated, and the translations may sometimes be quoted in the performances of the show in another language, so that they co-exist with it, rather than supplant it. What constitutes the ‘text’ of a stand-up comedy performance, in general or more specifically in this context, is also touched upon in the article.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02948989
Contributor : Catherine Chauvin <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 11:30:29 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:59:36 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02948989, version 1

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Catherine Chauvin. Translation and the Shape of Performed Material : On the Multilingual Stand-Up Comedy Shows of Eddie Izzard. Catherine Chauvin, Céline Sabiron. Translation and Textuality, Book Practices & Textual Itineraries (6), Presses Universitaires de Nancy - Editions Universitaires de Lorraine, pp.165-198, 2020, 978-2-8143-0335-5. ⟨hal-02948989⟩

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