PROBE: DUELLING DAVIDS - Experiments in Literary Translation

In the early 1920s in a shattered Bavaria, before he became a famous innovator of the modern theatre, the young Bertolt Brecht was fascinated by the biblical story of David (and was in fierce competition with others working on the same material). Though Brecht's play about David was never finished, several scene fragments survive in German.

These are the source material for a practice-as-research collaboration between Nicholas Johnson (translator/director) of the School of Drama, Film and Music, and David Shepherd (dramaturg) of the Loyola Institute. Working with an ensemble of actors and designers, Shepherd and Johnson are developing the first English translation and performance of The David Fragments, a process that has also raised new research questions around literary translation and drama.

This event presents the first public reading from this creative process, and will include actors performing Brecht's original German, Johnson's new literary translation, and — keeping Brecht's spirit of competition alive — assorted machine-translated versions of the same material. The discussion after the reading to explore these issues will include translator/director Nicholas Johnson, expert in translation studies James Hadley, expert in ancient translation traditions David Shepherd, and expert in computational linguistics Carl Vogel

Location: Conversation Room, GMB Building, Trinity College Dublin. 

Part of Probe: Research Uncovered at Trinity College Dublin. This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.

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