Translations of the Carnival Comedies of Hans Sachs (1494-1576)
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Contains a general introduction to Sachs's carnival comedies together with nine plays in translation. The short situation comedies offer us brief but vivid enactments of scenes from daily life in the sixteenth century, humorously illustrating the petty foibles and weaknesses which govern us all. Yet in the few hundred lines which each occupies, he also touches on profound human truths, as well as highlighting current political and social ills. The plays will be of general interest to students of history, sociology, drama, and of the human condition in general, as well as to those who simply enjoy well-crafted comedy.
"It is a selection that gives the reader an excellent idea of the impressive range of topics, themes, and sources of Hans Sachs' carnival plays. In his introduction Aylett reviews Sachs' life, examines previous translations into English, discusses briefly modern interpretations of the carnival plays, and contributes, I believe, some very interesting new ideas about the poet's language. . . . The result is a splendid translation that reads well and is fresh. . . . Given the twin demands of retaining the meter and the rhyme scheme on the one hand and conveying the meaning on the other, the translator has done a splendid job in capturing the spirit of Hans Sachs' carnival plays. If Sachs lived in our time, he certainly would approve." - Sixteenth-Century Journal
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