This essay on the translation of rewrites focuses upon intertextuality and the performance by highlighting style and rhythm as performative clues linked to actorial vocalization and gesture. The argument embraces an interpretation of intertextuality released from an exclusively literary domain and linked to the stage through the performative power of the text and the dialogue between acting conventions. This does not mean harping back on authorial sway and essentialism, but reconciling the play text and the performance text through the discursive modulations of the verbal and their staging potential. The argument shows that rewrites are particularly interesting in this respect because their performativity is invested with historicity, parody, and cultural overtones related to a stratification of performative modes which lend themselves to being acted out on stage according to the practices of the target environment and to its interpretations of the source text’s acting and cultural conventions. The discussion concentrates on a group of Shakespearean rewrites leading to specific considerations on Stoppard’s ‘Hamlet plays’, including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead which is looked at from the unusual perspective of the ‘distant collaboration’ between two translators (Lia Cuttitta and Eugenio Montale) in the Italian print version of the play.
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