Monday, July 15, 2024

“The Father of the Arts” in Syria, the foreign text that dominates the stage


Translations of dramatic texts formed an important aspect in the beginning of drama in Syria and its development and sustainability.

Since its inception, Syrian theater has benefited from foreign texts, which were largely present on the stage, as many of the theatrical works presented still relied on translated texts compared to the small number of works by local authors.

“Al-Bayan” sought the opinions of several experts on the theater movement in Syria and the influence of foreign texts on its development. Writer and director “Jon John” believed that Syrian drama would not have seen a revival. In the second half of the last century, the translation movement did not exist.

He continued: “Since 1950, Syrian directors have received translated texts and presented them to theater audiences such as the works of Aristophanes, Albert Camus, Gogol, Norwegian Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare. In this context, Rabiq al-Shabban “The Merchant of Venice” and ” Julius Caesar”, while Yusuf Harp presented “The Temperance of Severity”.

He added: “At the beginning of the new century, directors resorted to presenting translated works by authors whose works the public is not used to seeing. Naila al-Atrash presented a text by the Hungarian writer “Julius Hay” entitled “The”. Bed, and Bassam Ghousa from Austria “The Farewell Dinner” directed the play. , “Memoirs of a Man We Know,” Russian “Alexander Ostrovsky.” This is in addition to dozens of other works too limited to mention.

Dr Maysoun Ali, professor of contemporary drama at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, told Al-Bayan: “It is known that interest in translating drama began in the mid-nineteenth century with a generation of pioneers: Maroon al-Naqqash and Ateeb Ishaq (1856-1885), a writer, a Syrian translator. , he translated French writer Racine’s play “Andromache” and he also translated Victor Hugo’s play “Charlemagne”. He visited Rome, Venice, and Paris for the first time and returned influenced by this new type of culture, and later sought some inspiration. Among the foreign texts, there is also the experience of Abu Khalil al-Kabbani. Moliere’s translation of Marun al-Naqqash, but after he had produced it, to ensure its context and relevance.

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He added: In the case of Syria, the influence of the translated dramatic text began in Europe by watching theatrical performances, not by reading written dramatic texts. The influence on Western drama began visually, then the text, written and read material, which indicates that the real beginning of drama translation in our country was after the First World War (1914-1918), especially the translation movement from French. and English.

Researcher of Modern Drama Dr. Reem Shamia observed that despite all the difficulties the drama translation movement faced, it contributed and still contributes to the enrichment of our “father of arts”. Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco and “Arthur Adamov and Luigi Pirandello Translations of Syrian Dramatic Works.

He continued: The translated plays influenced Chadalla Vannes’s theatre, noting that, for example, he began to write plays influenced by existential thought, especially the trend of the absurd that arose from it, thereby giving him space to raise issues. concerned with existential thought and human suffering, and at one point he resorted to epic drama influenced by the tools of Brecht and Pirandello.

He adds: “Where Brandello tried to present prepared improvisations in his play “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” Vannes was interested in spontaneous improvisation in “Summer Feast for June 5,” and Brecht’s presence in “The King is King,” he continued, and Samarin The style he started at the party; “I mean, breaking the fourth wall.”

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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