Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Brian Hooker's excellent translation of Cyrano De Bergerac. He substituted lines and allusions to Shakespeare and Marlowe which were appropriate to the classical French theatre quoted in the original text. This inspired Anthony Burgess to use the same approach in his own translation 50 years later.
  • The Metropolitan Opera adaptation of Die Fledermaus by Howard Dietz and Garson Kanin is usually not a literal translation but fairly close. Sometimes, however, they couldn't be bothered to do anything more literate than a Better Than a Bare Bulb spoof, as in the Irrelevant Act Opener which now ran, "It's the kind of libretto where we all are at a ball."
  • The English version of Les Misérables. "At the end of the day", for example, takes all the best from "Quand un jour est passé", gets rid of the less effective lines and most importantly is easier to sing. The original lyrics are impossibly hard to articulate clearly; the translation is more musical because of the added alliterations, etc.

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