Contemporary German Prose in Britain and France (1980-1999)

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Translation negotiates otherness. Hence, otherness can be regarded as a central component of the translation process. Moreover, via disciplines, such as philosophy and anthropology, otherness in the last two decades has entered Western theories and studies of translation and become an important analytical and normative category in the field of translation studies. Nevertheless, there is an apparent lack of research considering the concept itself as well as its history and current use in the field and its relevance for the practice of translation. This book can be regarded as a first attempt to fill this gap. It reconsiders the translation theories currently known as ‘foreignizing’ and shows that some of these draw on the same nationalist agenda that they try to transcend. Moreover, the ensuing case study proves that current translation practice is still governed by a nationalist assurance of linguistic and cultural differences. This book therefore concludes by calling for a change of perspective in the theoretical and practical approaches to translation. Translation should no longer be regarded as a means of delimiting our selves from a national other, but as a way to uncover the otherness underlying these alleged selves.


“ ... by drawing attention to long-standing attitudes to translation and to otherness, in the receiving culture, Dr. Sievers lays down the challenge for a change of perspective in both theories and practice. Her book is thought-provoking, clearly argued and an important contribution to translation studies. It is, above all, a wake-up call to publishers and readers to move beyond the narrow confines of an out-dated cultural positioning.” – Prof. Susan Bassnett, Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Warwick

“ ... Dr. Sievers’ book examines the significance of otherness in the current practice of translation ... The focus of her study is on revealing the dimensions of otherness in the original works and on revealing the multidimensional rejection of otherness in the translations.” – Dr. Christina Schäffner, Director of Postgraduate Studies and Translation Studies, Aston University, Birmingham

“Wiebke Sievers’s study arises out of the nexus between the theorization of otherness, derived from such disciplines as philosophy and anthropology, and translation theory ... This is an excellent study which raises some very important questions about contemporary translation practice in the global market.” – Dr. Georgina Paul, Fellow and Tutor in German, St. Hilda's College, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

Preface by Prof. Susan Bassnett
1 Otherness in Translation Theories
2 Otherness in Translation Practice: Contemporary German Prose in Britain and France
3 Caught in the Cold War: Monika Maron
4 Genocide and the Fantastic: Edgar Hilsenrath
5 ‘Expressing an Impossible Possibility of Being’: Anne Duden
6 Towards a Change of Perspective in Translation: Uncovering the Otherness Underlying the Selves
Appendices: The Corpus
Appendix 1: Translations Published in Britain
Appendix 2: Translations Published in France

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