Article: “A reading in moral literacy or love story in the shadow of the Holocaust: Difference in translation”

Jenny Williams and Geoff Wilkes, ‘A reading in moral literacy or love story in the shadow of the Holocaust: Difference in translation’ Journal of Language and Politics, vol. 11 no 1 (2012),  77-92.

Abstract: This essay attempts to account for the success of a German novel, Bernhard Schlink’s Der Vorleser, in English translation by analysing both the effects of translation decisions and the influence of prevailing discourses in the receiving culture. It is shown how particular decisions in relation to content and style result in the downplaying of the political and philosophical aspects of the novel and the foregrounding of relationships between individuals. This, in turn, is seen as further evidence of a tendency in German-English literary translation to understate difference in translation by moulding the text to the norms of the receiving culture.

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