by Pierre Corneille (1650)
In 2008 I took a summer class where for our main class project we translated various plays from seventeenth century France. I translated Andromède by Pierre Corneille, a playwright known as "France's Shakespeare." Andromède is one of his lesser-known machine plays. It's based off the Greek myth of Perseus' rescue of Andromeda, written entirely in poetry, and includes stage directions for flying machines and musical choruses. I've been meaning to turn my rough draft into something presentable ever since that class ended, but life has produced a number of hiccups along the way. For instance, I contracted a disabling chronic illness in 2010, and for several years afterwards I was unable to translate at all.
My original intention was to revise and polish my translation then turn it into an e-book to sell. But I've been largely unimpressed by the formatting and readability of plays published as e-books. So instead of going the e-book route this time, I am going to be revising and posting my next draft in installments here on the website.
My translation of the fairy tale "Persinette" went through at least 7 drafts before I hit publish, so I should warn you that Andromeda will still be fairly rough. But I enjoy watching other creators' works unfold, so I think this will be a unique opportunity to see a translation in progress. I'll try to also include notes now and then that might be useful to other budding translators or interesting to curious onlookers.
If nothing else, I dislike it when drafts sit uselessly on my harddrive. Here, Andromeda, go be useful.
For comparison purposes, I'm posting the first scene of my 2008 rough draft and some shots of my revision notes from a few years ago. I may also add other snippets from my rough draft, depending on how egregious or embarrassing they end up being. We'll see. ;)