We are developing data visualis/zation tools to explore sets of versions/rewritings/retranslations -- of ANY work.
Papers attached at the foot of this page:
Items below on this page by TC:
Stylometric analysis of 40 German versions of Othello
Tom Cheesman and Jan Rybicki, July 2014
The visualization below represents a stylometric analysis of 40 German versions of Othello. Dr Jan Rybicki carried out the analysis which generated the graphic.
Comments by TC below the image. Click to enlarge it.
The analysis is based on part parallel samples, each of approximately 8,000 words (from the opening scene of the play, forwards). Text samples based on OCR output were copy-edited to 96% or better accuracy.
Rybicki used the 'stylo' package for R.* This programme compares frequencies of Most Frequent Words in each version, using multiple different analytic parameters (different cullings of word classes, different ranges of frequencies, etc), and compares the results of these many different analyses, to produce an aggregate analysis, which is visualised using GEPHI tools. *See: M. Eder, M. Kestemont, J. Rybicki, 'Stylometry with R: A Suite of Tools', Digital Humanities 2013: Conference Abstracts, pp.487-89; accessible here.
Labels show the (main) translator's surname and the date of publication or creation. The suffix "_T" indicates a theatre script, i.e. a version which has not been published in book form. The suffix "_Pr" (prose) indicates a version for study reading. The prefix "Baud" indicates a version of (or based on) the translation by Wolf Baudissin (1832, in the Schlegel-Tieck edition).
Spatial clusters indicate general stylometric similarities among versions, as contrasted with others.
Connecting lines indicate specific similarities found by some set of individual analyses; the thickness of lines indicates the strength of these similarities across multiple analyses. -- For example, the line at top centre, connecting Gildemeister (1871) and Vischer (1887), shows that those two texts have a lot of stylometric features in common. A little below them, Bodenstedt (1867) connects along a very thick line to Ruediger (1963). In fact, Ruediger rewrote Bodenstedt's version. Far below left, Rothe (1956) is distantly, thinly connected to Engler (1976). But it is very unlikely that this line represents any real intertextual relation, in the sense of a genealogical link.
The corpus includes several sets of versions identified as clusters by the analysis. Individual anomalies and connecting lines are also of interest. Some observations:
Alignment Maps of Versions of Othello by Studio Nand
Click to enlarge the image.
Each pair of 'bar-codes' shows: on the left, the speech-structure of Shakespeare's Othello, Act 1 Scene 3, and on the right, the speech structure of a German version (translation or adaptation), labelled with writer and date.
Thinner, linking lines show alignments.
In each 'bar-code', horizontal bars represent speeches. Their thickness represents the length of the speech in words.
The speech highlighted in red is Othello's speech 'Her father loved me...'
We can see at a glance where versions expand, contract, omit from, add to, or re-order material from the English play text.
These alignment maps form the basis of navigation in the 'Parallel Text' and 'Alignment' views at www.delightedbeauty.org/vvvclosed.
Tag-line by Zhao Geng (5 April 2011) using Chirag Mehta's © algorithm and Erik Arvidsson's © dynamic slider control. This visualisation displays the least frequent words in 22 versions of Othello's long speech to the Senate about his life-story (Act 1, scene 3).
'Far More Fair Than Black' - French and German Translators' Choices
The table below shows choices for 'fair' and 'black' made by 55 translators of the Duke's last couplet: 33 in German and 22 in French. (Go to 'Materials' to see all the texts.) Differences which might be significant - statistically and culturally - are highlighted in red.
I divided the translators into 'famous' and 'obscure' translators. (This was for a presentation at the 2010 Author-Translator conference.) The subset of the 'famous' includes (a) writers whose names have a special cultural standing, and (b) celebrated rewriters of (a lot of) Shakespeare's work. The 'famous' are: in German, Wieland, J.H.Voss (3 rewritings), Schiller, Baudissin, Gundolf [George], Rothe, Fried, Günther, Zaimoglu/Senkel; and in French, Le Tourneur (2 rewritings), de Vigny (2 rewritings), Hugo (2 rewritings), Aicard, Robin, Jouve, Bonnefoy, Déprats. So that's 11 rewritings by 'famous' translators in each language
Q: What is different about French and German choices? What might explain these differences? Is it that the languages have different expressive resources? Or is it the cultures rather than the languages? Ideological constraints? Is it the specific cultural traditions of Shakespeare translation?
Q: Is there anything different about the work of rewriters whose name has a special cultural standing? What might explain the differences between French and German, as regards the relation between the work of the 'famous' rewriters and the others?
Q: Would we find similar patterns if we investigated a different speech?
Here is a table of versions of 'Virtue? A fig!' - click to enlarge
Hedwig Schwarz (1898-1985) translated 20 of Shakespeare's plays between 1936 and 1947.
first image below, how variation maps across ALL versions of Othello 1.3, and
second image below, where Hedwig Schwarz's translation differs most (and least) from others.
NB: Text segments of versions are displayed when the relevant node is brushed - one at a time, in the live system.
Christoph Martin Wieland - with Goethe, Schiller and Herder
Wieland's Shakespear Theatralische Werke, vol 8 of 8, 1766 (Taylor Institute copy at Google Books)
Page images from the Taylor copy of Vol 1 with King Lear
Translation of Wieland's footnote p. 305:
Here the original is more daring than the [my] translation. Shakespeare has Regan ask: have you never found my brother's way To the forfended place?
This nonsensical babble has been allowed to stand almost as confused as it is in the original, as a sample of a very common vice of Shakespeare's: that of only half expressing his thoughts, hurling ill-matched metaphors together, and dispensing himself from all the rules of grammar.
This refers to Edmund's speech in King Lear 5, 3.:
In wisdom I should ask thy name;
But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
What safe and nicely I might well delay
By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
Back do I toss those treasons to thy head;
With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart;
Which - for they yet glance by and scarcely bruise -
This sword of mine shall give them instant way
Where they shall rest for ever. Trumpets, speak!
Pages of the revised, pirated edition by Gabriel Eckert (vol 2 of 22 vols, 1778-83) of Eschenburg's Shakespeare [first edition 12 vols 1775-77 + 1 vol 1782]: from 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona'