This morning: I had a conversation with Hamlet on twitter about Goethe while reading snippets from Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre about a character performing Hamlet.
This sprang from my new favorite quote from Goethe “Away with your fat Hamlets!”
…what I was really doing was preparing a handout for an in-class presentation/facilitation/thingie I have to give on Thursday (one of the two big semester projects still on my docket).
Over the course of preparing this handout, I also discovered that the snippets of Macbeth I had chosen as an object lesson in early German Shakespeare translations for my class were perhaps not entirely what I had previously thought. When one of my sources discussed the Schlegel translation of Macbeth pretty heavily, I assumed this may be a good example of how the Germans during this time period weren’t quite getting the language as we English-speakers expect to receive it. I pulled a snippet from Macbeth’s “whence is this knocking?” speech from the 1764 Wieland translation, then same from what I thought was part of the 1801 Schlegel translation (highly regarded as the best rendition of Shakespeare into German from the time). I re-translated them to English as best I can (because, despite any pretentions to the contrary, graduate students don’t actually know everything), and set them prominently on my handout.
…only to find out that the textual history of the Schlegel is WAY more complicated than I
had thought (hey, at least I discovered this BEFORE my presentation on Thursday). Not to bore you with details, but it’s actually a rather cool thing since Schlegel winds up collaborating with Tieck but despite this his translation of the complete works remains unfinished until Tieck’s daughter takes it up. So apparently what I have is a kind of proto-feminist text that my inner English geek could analyze up the wazoo but, since I’m in a theatre department, should probably refrain from doing so.
Anyway, once this is done then I have a paper to write (that I’m nowhere near as prepared for as usual but thankfully have more time than I thought I would have so… it may just balance in the end). Then, on May eighth, I turn in that last stack of pages, breathe a sigh of relief, and take a few days to a week off before I start studying for my comps like a mad person.
And at some point in the near future, it’s going to hit me that to complete this semester’s projects I had to do research in a language that I didn’t know a single word of before last June and, moreover, I’ve been routinely walking around with a bagful of books in three different languages (none of the pig Latin)… Not to brag, but you’ve got to admit that that’s pretty cool.
On that note, I think I’ll put down the Goethe and turn to Molière for a bit. Because apparently I like pain.
Gird yourselves. Finals are here.