Advertisement

A Corpus-Based Approach to Waiting for Godot’s Stage Directions: A Comparison between the French and the English Version

  • Pablo Ruano San Segundo
Chapter

Abstract

This research paper is based on a corpus-based methodology and undertakes a fresh assessment of Beckett’s self-translations of stage directions in Waiting for Godot and En Attendant Godot. Beyond shaping the ongoing dramatic situation, stage directions may also function as a means of character definition and identification within the making of a play from a textual point of view. As a result of their dispersed nature, however, the systematicity with which some of them are used tends to go unnoticed, since their recurrence is not easy to spot with the naked eye. Thanks to a corpus-based approach, though, it is possible to identify these authorial comments and show that there are certain stage directions which tend to be associated with a specific character. This study will be limited to those stage directions which indicate how utterances are to be carried out, firstly in the final English version, then in comparison with the earlier French text. Results will reinforce the idea that Beckett’s self-translations should not be regarded as mere reproductions of their originals, but refinements—as part of a continuous process of craftsmanship.

Keywords

Waiting for Godot En attendant Godot Corpus-based approach Stage directions Self-translation 

Bibliography

  1. Adolphs, Svenja, and Ronald Carter. 2002. Corpus Stylistics: Point of View and Semantic Prosodies in To the Lighthouse. Poetica 58: 7–20.Google Scholar
  2. Beckett, Samuel. 1952. En attendant Godot. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 1955. Waiting for Godot. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  4. Beer, Ann. 1985. ‘Watt’, Knott and Beckett’s Bilingualism. Journal of Beckett Studies 10: 37–75.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 1994. Beckett’s Bilingualism. In The Cambridge Companion to Samuel Beckett, ed. John Pilling, 209–221. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Butler, Lance S. 1994. Two Darks: A Solution to the Problem of Beckett’s Bilingualism. In Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui 3: 115–135.Google Scholar
  7. Cockerham, Harry. 1975. Bilingual Playwright. In Beckett the Shape Changer, ed. Katharine Worth, 139–159. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  8. Cohn, Ruby. 1985. Samuel Beckett Self-Translator. Publications of the Modern Language Association 65: 613–621.Google Scholar
  9. Culpeper, Jonathan. 2001. Language and Characterisation: People in Plays and Other Texts. Harlow: Longman.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2009. Keyness: Words, Parts-of-Speech and Semantic Categories in the Character-Talk of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 14 (1): 29–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fischer-Starcke, Bettina. 2010. Corpus Linguistics in Literary Analysis: Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  12. Fitch, Brian T. 1988. Beckett and Babel: An Investigation into the Status of the Bilingual Work. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  13. Friedman, Alan W., Charles Rossman, and Dina Sherzer, eds. 1987. Beckett Translating/Translating Beckett. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hurst, Mary Jane. 1988. Utterances in Ivy Compton-Burnett’s A Family and a Fortune. Language and Style 20 (4): 342–358.Google Scholar
  15. Jahn, Manfred. 2001. Narrative Voice and Agency in Drama: Aspects of a Narratology of Drama. New Literary History 32 (3): 659–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kjellmer, Góran. 1991. A Mint of Phrases. In English in Corpus Linguistics. Studies in Honour of Jan Svartvik, ed. Karin Aijmer and Bengt Altenberg, 121–127. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  17. Mahlberg, Michaela. 2007. Corpus Linguistics: Bridging the Gap Between Linguistic and Literary Studies. In Text, Discourse and Corpora. Theory and Analysis, ed. Michael Hoey, Michaela Mahlberg, Michael Stubbs, and Wolfgang Teubert, 219–246. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2013. Corpus Stylistics and Dickens’s Fiction. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Mahlberg, Michaela, Catherine Smith, and Simon Preston. 2013. Phrases in Literary Contexts: Patterns and Distributions of Suspensions in Dickens’s Novels. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 18 (1): 35–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Murphy, P.J. 1994. Werner Huber, Rolf Breuer, and Konrad Schoell. Critique of Beckett Criticism: A Guide to Research in English, French and German. Camden House: Columbia.Google Scholar
  21. Scott, Mike. 2013. WordSmith Tools 6. Liverpool: Lexical Analysis Software.Google Scholar
  22. Scott, Mike, and Christopher Tribble. 2006. Counting Things in Texts You Can’t Count On: A Study of Samuel Beckett’s Texts for Nothing, 1. In Textual Patterns: Keywords and Corpus Analysis in Language Education, ed. Mike Scott and Cristopher Tribble, 179–193. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. St. Pierre. 1996. Paul. Translation as Writing Across Languages: Samuel Beckett and Fakir Mohan Senapati. TTR: Traduction, Terminologie, Rédaction 9 (1): 233–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stubbs, Michael. 2005. Conrad in the Computer: Examples of Quantitative Stylistics Methods. Language and Literature 14 (1): 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Suchy, Patricia A. 1991. When Words Collide: The Stage Direction as Utterance. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 6 (1): 69–82.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Ruano San Segundo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Filología InglesaFacultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de ExtremaduraCáceresSpain

Personalised recommendations