June 2, 2006
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Translation
A UCLA classics professor spikes her version of the Roman Plautus with shots of American culture
Amy Richlin admits that the difficulties in translating Poenulus — a comedy likely written between 224 B.C. and 184 B.C. by the Roman playwright Plautus — begin with the work's title.
"Poenulus" (which, according to Ms. Richlin, literally means "The Little Punic Guy") is a reference more likely to leave modern audiences scratching their heads than rolling in the