A historical approach to Spanish theatre translations from censorship archives
Merino Álvarez, Raquel
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Iberian Studies on Translation and Interpreting : 123-140 (2012)
[EN] This contribution offers an overview of research undertaken for the last few years under the TRACE (translation and censorship, or censored translations) project with respect to theatre. The AGA (General Administration Archive in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid), a unique source of information for translation scholars, has become the focus of TRACE-theatre investigations on Francoist Spain in the last few years. In Spain, these censorship archives have proved to be a rich reservoir of data that, when explored in depth, help draw a history of Spanish theatre in translation. Contrary to what one may think at first, access to censorship archives does not only open ways to deal with what got censored (banned, crossed out or modified) but rather it allows for research on all written evidence left by plays that underwent the bureaucratic censoring process which was applied to all cultural manifestations, national or foreign, theatrical as well as non-dramatic. And it is precisely when tracing back censorship records that one finds a way to uncover a history of Spanish theatre in translation that is yet to be written but can now be outlined in some detail. By extensively using this type of records the investigator is better positioned to be inclusive and it becomes somehow easier to integrate and consider works translated along with ‘native’ plays, foreign authors along with Spanish playwrights. Both translations and original Spanish plays co-existed and on many an occasion they would become part of a playwright’s canon and would be filed accordingly. Translations are clearly, in the context of Spanish theatre, facts of the target culture as are Spanish original plays. They were programmed on Spanish stages irrespective of source author or country, except that ‘being foreign’ or having been successful abroad were usually arguments to favour permission by censors.