Elfriede Jelinek's deconstructive linguistic strategies, which earned her the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature, are a great challenge to translators and theatre artists. Her interweaving of quotations from the canon of German Poets and Thinkers, European literature and philosophy, popular culture and political spin reflects the feminist writer's struggle to emancipate her mother tongue from the overpowering rhetoric of her fatherland. In this talk Gitta Honegger focuses on translating Jelinek's performance texts or "texts for speaking," as she calls them, into English and examines if and how Jelinek's linguistic project can be transferred into the diverse languages of stage and cultural performance.
Gitta Honegger has translated plays by Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard, Elias Canetti, Franz Xaver Kroetz, and Marieluise Fleißer, among others, and is the author of a cultural biography of Thomas Bernhard, The Making of an Austrian. She is currently translating Elfriede Jelinek's opus magnum, the novel The Children of the Dead. She was resident dramaturg at the Yale Repertory Theatre, where she also directed, and professor of dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Yale School of Drama. A Guggenheim and Fulbright fellow, Dr. Honegger is Professor of Theatre at Arizona State University.