As Paul Ricoeur maintains in his book On Translation (Ricoeur 2006), the ethics of translation could provide a model for a European identity which presupposes hosting the other in one’s own language as opposed to a forced domestication of the other.
The Shakespearean text thus becomes a brand which provides access to a symbolic capital, so that translations (whether interlingual, intralingual, intermediatic or intercultural) of Shakespeare’s plays have been used not only to serve nationalist purposes, but also as mediating frameworks for transnational communities. Such communities would create a public European ground for questioning European values that were formerly the basis of stereotypical Eurocentric attitudes, but which are currently reinstated through new ethical practices. In an enlarged European context, with New (Eastern) Europe as an alter-ego and as the other of core, prestigious (Western) Europe at the same time, such reconsiderations of European values rediscover Shakespeare as a link between the two Europes.
This volume, published as part of the project The European Dimension of Shakespearean Translations: Romanian Perspectives (PNII-Idei 1978/2008, director Prof. Madalina Nicolaescu) focuses on the construction of transnational European identity using a heritage that can be reclaimed by Europe through Shakespearean translations. The project on the European dimension of translations of Shakespeare sets out to study the convergence of two types of re-writing: on the one hand the rewriting of canonical texts such as Shakespeare’s plays in various translations and adaptations produced in the European region; on the other hand the concomitant rewriting of what has been considered the shared set of values and cultural goods that constitute the European identity.
The two aspects have been conceived of in a dialogical relation and as part of an ongoing process of construction, as the rewriting of Shakespeare in translation is determined and further determines the construction of European values and identities. This process has acquired an increased urgency and significance in the crisis that the European Union is nowadays experiencing. The convergence of the two processes – translating and constructing or rewriting identities is also the major concern of the papers in the present volume.
Prof. univ. dr. Irina Pana
Prof. univ. dr. Monica Bottez