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Middlesex Interpreting and Translation Seminars: Translating Poetry and for the Theatre

14 February 2013

Middlesex Interpreting and Translation Seminars

School of Health and Education, Middlesex University

Translating Poetry and for the Theatre

Thursday 14 March, 16:00/18:00, Room CG77 (lecture theatre)

Margherita Laera: Reaching Athens – Community, Democracy and Other Mythologies in Adaptations of Greek Tragedy (Chaired by Abele Longo, Middlesex University)

Martyn Crucefix: Translating Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus (Chaired by Edgar Schröder, Middlesex University)



Margherita Laera: Why do revivals, translations and adaptations of Greek tragedy still abound in European national theatres, fringe stages and international festivals in the twenty-first century? Margherita Laera will discuss issues of transculturation and domestication in  translation across media through a recent version of Prometheus by German theatre company Rimini Protokoll. Margherita’s new book, Reaching Athens, addresses the ways in which contemporary revivals of Greek tragedy produce and perpetuate the myth of ‘classical’ Greece as the origin of Europe and how this narrative raises issues concerning the possibility of a transnational European community.

Dr Margherita Laera is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Drama at the University of Kent in Canterbury, where she will take up a Lectureship in Theatre in 2013. She is a member of the European Theatre Research Network based in the School of Arts at Kent. Her monograph Reaching Athens: Community, Democracy and Other Mythologies in Adaptations of Greek Tragedy was published in 2013 with Peter Lang. She is currently working on a book on stage adaptations.

Martyn Crucefix: In fifty-five sonnets Rainer Maria Rilke plays an astonishing set of philosophical and sensual variations on the Orpheus myth. Nature, art, love, time, childhood, technology, poverty, justice – all are encompassed in poems that spark with insight and invention, amongst the most joyful and light-footed that Rilke ever wrote. René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets. He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. Among English-language readers, his best-known work is the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Martyn Crucefix works as poet, teacher, reviewer, critic, translator and competition judge. He is a tutor with the Poetry School in London. Martyn’s first collection, Beneath Tremendous Rain (1990), was published by Enitharmon Press and his Arvon prize-winning poem, At The Mountjoy Hotel, appeared with Enitharmon in Spring 1993. A second collection, On Whistler Mountain, was published by Sinclair-Stevenson in 1994 and his third book, A Madder Ghost by Enitharmon in 1997. An English Nazareth (2004) and his translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies (2006) were published by Enitharmon with the latter being shortlisted for the Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation and hailed as “unlikely to be bettered for very many years” (Magma). His collection Hurt appeared in 2010, and Martyn’s new translation of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus has just been published by Enitharmon Press.



Abele Longo:

MA Translation Programme Leader
Middlesex University

Building 9
The Burroughs
London NW4 4BT


Middlesex University

Tel: 020 8411 500

Travelling via public transport:
* Underground: Hendon Central (Northern line), then walk.
* Rail: Hendon, then 183 bus to The Burroughs.
* Bus: To The Burroughs: 143, 183, and 326.

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