Behind Inverted Commas: Translation and Anglo-German by Susanne Stark

By Susanne Stark

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Extra info for Behind Inverted Commas: Translation and Anglo-German Cultural Relations in the Nineteenth Century (Topics in Translation, 15)

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Patiently, I use English as a conduit to go back and down; all the way down to childhood, Page 9 almost to the beginning. When I learn to say those smallest, first things in the language that has served for detachment and irony and abstraction, I begin to see where the languages I've spoken have their correspondences - how I can move between them without being split by the difference. (Hoffman, 1991: 273-74) A final example which deserves to be referred to is Peter Porter's sarcastic poetic treatment of an international academic conference in 'The Chair of Babel'.

Great BritainRelationsGermany. 6. GermanyRelationsGreat Britain. I. Title. II. Series. 0231'09034dc21 98-54224 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 1-85359-376-1 (hbk) ISBN 1-85359-375-3 (pbk) Multilingual Matters Ltd UK: Frankfurt Lodge, Clevedon Hall, Victoria Road, Clevedon BS21 7HH. USA: 325 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA. Canada: 5201 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario M3H 5T8, Canada.

For the English professor, translating is a totally transparent means of documenting Razumov's life in a foreign language and does not require any special skills. For Laspara, too, translation is treated as a task which can be performed by a woman whose major qualification appears to be that she has never done anything in her life. Though in itself uncomplicated, translation gains a new dimension in his way of thinking: it is political and can initiate radical social changes. Razumov himself, on the other hand, questions this attitude and wonders whether the east can ever be made palatable to a western readership through the medium of translation, thus expressing anger at the idea that both his words and their contents are as transparent and exchangeable as the polyglot and cosmopolitan Laspara would like them to be.

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