Fiona Bell will present on The Rhythm of a New Age: Valerii Bryusov’s 1922 Translation of Racine’s Phèdre and Charalampos Sigalas will present on Cardiac arrhythmias: when the heart skips a beat for the brain
The Rhythm of a New Age: Valerii Bryusov’s 1922 Translation of Racine’s Phèdre
Fiona Bell, MSt in Russian
Valerii Bryusov, a leader of the Russian Symbolist movement, was the first twentieth-century translator of Racine’s Phèdre into Russian. When Bryusov’s translation was produced at Moscow’s Kamernii Theatre in 1922, the play was met with great critical acclaim. Aleksandr Tairov, the director, was praised for raising Racine’s French court tragedy to timeless, monumental heights. Critics also celebrated the actors’ forceful, embodied performances, which more closely resembled dance than quotidian behaviour; in this way, Tairov proved himself an innovator of non-naturalistic theatre in the early Soviet period. While much has been written about Tairov’s production, little scholarly attention has been paid to the role Bryusov played in creating a universal, monumental Phèdre. In his translation, Bryusov altered Racine’s verse structure and removed the language specific to seventeenth-century French tragedy. He prioritized the actor by placing a smaller emphasis on the language’s beauty and expressiveness, focusing instead on developing a rhythm that lent itself to performance. Every translation is an act of criticism, as the translator decides which elements of the source text to prioritize and which to discard. In this paper, I argue that Bryusov’s stylistic and thematic translation choices are the invisible foundation of Tairov’s acclaimed production.
Fiona Bell is currently earning a MSt in Russian at Oxford University. She graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her academic interests include theater and performance studies in twentieth-century and contemporary Russia. She will enter Yale University’s PhD program in Slavic Languages and Literatures in Fall 2019.
Cardiac arrhythmias: when the heart skips a beat for the brain
Charalampos Sigalas, Blaschko JRF and Research Fellow in Pharmacology
Cardiac arrhythmias constitute a certain type of heart disease that impairs the normal beating rhythm of the heart. The symptoms of such diseases can appear during childhood and have devastating effects in the life of affected people, often leading to sudden death. While several treatments are available, they are not always effective. Therefore, it is essential to further understand the disease mechanism in cardiac arrhythmias and develop better treatments. The most common place to look for the problem is the heart itself. However, does the problem always start in the heart? In this talk, I will share part of my research interests that involve studying the interaction between the brain and the heart in the generation of cardiac arrhythmias.
Charalampos completed his doctoral work in the University of Bristol studying the intricate gating mechanism of the cardiac Ryanodine Receptor, a Ca2+-release channel in the heart that mediates muscle contraction. He then moved to Athens in Greece to continue his studies as a post-doctoral researcher and investigated the intriguing interplay between excitation and inhibition in neuronal networks of the brain. In 2017 he joined the lab of Prof Rebecca Sitsapesan in the University of Oxford as the European Blaschko Visiting Research Fellow. His work combines research in neuroscience and cardiac pharmacology.