(“The Landmarks of Eugene O’Neil’s Creation”). Therefore, the Romanian critic and translator had all the necessary competence to achieve a successful translation, finding himself in the position of a cultural bilingual whose previous knowledge of the background of the work and his former acquaintance with the author recommended him as O’Neill’s most dedicated Romanian supporter. In fact, Comarnescu “discovered” O’Neill in the thirties, after his direct experience of American culture, and since then he labored constantly to bring the playwright’s works to the attention of the Romanian literary and theatrical environment.
Sometimes, Gheorghiu’s less polished version comes closer to the original stylistically speaking although I believe his excessive swearing style is not always appropriate: thus, the interjection Gawd blimey! (O’Neill Plays I, 1988: 490) is translated as ‘Paștele mă-sii’ (Gheorghiu Orientări,1958: 378) in an attempt to approximate the sailor’s vocabulary with that of factory workers, while the other two versions communicate meekness, resignation or lack of vitality: ‘Doamne, iartă-ne’ (Comarnescu 65)/ ‘Doamne, iartă-mă!’ (Alcalay and Zamfir 67). The original exclamation, on the other hand, represents an expression of awe and distress, somewhat less vulgar and more idiomatic, which could have been more properly rendered by ‘Ei, drăcie!’ or ‘Ferească Sfântul!’.
SOURCE: “Academic Translation as Cultural Challenge: Petru Comarnescu’s Contribution to Eugene O’Neill’s Reception in Romania.” Annales Universitatis Apulensis, Seria Philologica 15/2014.