Editor’s Note

Volume 9, Issue 2 (Fall 2022)

Welcome to the Fall 2022 issue of The Mercurian!

The issue opens with John J. Hanlon’s translation of Artur Solomonov’s 2018 play How We Buried Josef Stalin.  As Hanlon points out in his introduction, this funny, satiric piece prefigures many current events such as Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, various laws passed in Russia in the past few years, and fictitious referendums used to justify annexation of territory.  The play recalls events from Russian history as it simultaneously portrays those events through its own metatheatrical structure.

How We Buried Josef Stalin is followed by Andrea Jurjevic’s translation of Croatian playwright Katja Grcic’s play Little Red Gretel from 2021.  In Little Red Gretel Grcic mashes together several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and transposes them to contemporary times in an anarchic and comical fashion.  As Jurjevic discusses in her introduction to the translation, the play’s style and its frequent use of regional references intelligible only to a Serbo-Croatian audience led her, in close consultation with the playwright, to make a number of changes to the text.  Readers can decide for themselves whether or not such changes achieve the desired goal of creating a playable text intelligible to a wider audience.

Little Red Gretel is followed by Sian Creely’s translation of Spanish-Catalan playwright Yaiza Berrocal Guevara’s play The Cold Chain.  Berrocal Guevara’s play is a surreal, darkly humorous investigation of consumerism centering around a Canadian product called McCain potato smileys.  As Creely discusses in the introduction, Berrocal Guevara’s language creates a particular kind of Spanish working-class dialogue that she strived to duplicate in different form in her translation.

Mihaela Mudure’s translation of Romanian playwright Flavius Lucacel’s 2019 play The Corporation follows The Cold Chain. Mudure’s translation of Radu Tuculescu’s The Thief or Three in a Bedroom appeared in Vol. 7, No.2 of The MercurianThe Corporation, like Little Red Gretel,focuses on consumerism, but approaches it from a different direction by juxtaposing its characters dissatisfaction with consumer culture against the dreams and desires of a couple, both immigrants, one from Syria and the other from Ukraine.  As the corporation begins to fail economically a tenuous bridge is formed between the immigrants and the wife of one of its managers.  Lucacel’s play presents all of this in an episodic manner that satirizes the corporation.

After The Corporation comes Gigi Guizado’s translation of her grandfather Colombian playwright Rafael Guizado’s one-act play The Rooftop.  Her introduction describes the detective work necessary to find this work as well as a number of the translation challenges that arose as she approached the lyrical and poetic style of this short, sweet play that premiered as a radio play in 1942.

We conclude this issue with Emma Pauly’s review of Massimiliano Morini’s book Theatre Translation: Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022).  Pauly’s own translation work with Euripides’ The Bacchae can be found in The Mercurian, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Fall 2019).

Back issues of The Mercurian can be found at under the “Archives” tab on our website: https://the-mercurian.com/.  As the theatre is nothing without its audience, The Mercurian welcomes your comments, questions, complaints, and critiques. Deadline for submissions for consideration for Volume 9, No. 3 Spring 2023 will be January 15, 2023.

—Adam Versényi

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