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Giving Away your Wife and Children: Translating a Jātaka Tale into a Contemporary Narrative

Authors:

Mark Rivett ,

Steve Killick

Abstract

This paper describes the process involved in turning a Jātaka tale from an historical text into a story fit for telling to a contemporary audience. The authors are storytellers within the UK storytelling tradition who were invited by an academic translator of the Jātakas to perform the stories as a ‘knowledge exchange’ event funded by the University of Edinburgh. The paper describes how the storytellers adjusted one of the Jātakas (the Vessantara Jātaka) in order to make the story accessible for a twenty-first-century Western audience. The description of the translation process (from text to performance) provides a tool to increase the popularity of the Jātakas in the West, but may also offer insights to the academic translators of the tales about their performativity.

How to Cite: Rivett, M. and Killick, S., 2014. Giving Away your Wife and Children: Translating a Jātaka Tale into a Contemporary Narrative. Asian Literature and Translation, 2(6), pp.1–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2014.10211
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Published on 07 May 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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