n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Literarische Übersetzungsforschung als Instrument des Literaturstudiums am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts




Literary translation studies can play an important role in the teaching of literary texts. The translation of any literary text can be seen as a process to "rewrite", and to some extent manipulate, the text. A comparison of original and translation often makes the norms that influence the rewriting visible, and thus helps towards a more critical understanding of both the source and the target culture. An analysis of the only English translation of Christa Wolf's novella Der geteilte Himmel/Divided Heaven shows both the manipulation of the original through translation, and emphasises specific narrative elements of the source text. By suppressing elements that challenge the literary norms of "Socialist Realism" and some of the criticism directed at the young GDR state, the translation - commissioned by a subsidiary of the GDR publishing company Volk und Welt - adapts the text to official GDR ideology. A look at the differences between original and translation can thus highlight narrative and cultural elements that make the source text specific.


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