Article Title

Play Strindberg and the Theater of Adaptation


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Adaptations, abridgements,additions, alterations, ameliorations, amplifications, augmentations, conversions, distortions, emendations, interpolations, metamorphoses, modifications, mutilations, revisions, transformations, versions-the same terms Ruby Cohn felt uncomfortable with in trying to generate a critical vocabulary for her study Modern Shakespeare Offshoots-seem inadequate to describe Dürrenmatt's preoccupation with The Dance of Death in Play Strindberg.1 James Kirkup, who did the popular English translation published in America by Grove Press in 1973 following the New York premiere at the Forum Theater of Lincoln Center on June 3, 1971, appears to have been similarly baffled. At one point, with no doubt Terence Rattigan's French Without Tears in mind, he even considered an alternative working title, Strindberg Without Tears. Abandoning terms like "reworking," "rewriting," "adaptation," and "arrangement," he finally settled for Dürrenmatt's German title Play Strindberg, this time inventing a curious subtitle of his own: "The Dance of Death Choreographed by Friedrich Dürrenmatt."2

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