Knowing and not knowing: Style, intention and the translation of a Holocaust poem

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25 Citations (Scopus)


My aim in this article is to consider the role of the literary translator both as close reader of an original text and as creator of a new text which preserves essential characteristics of the original. Questions such as the intentions and choices of the original author will clearly play a large part in decisions on how to translate, and, using the notion of translation as interpretative use developed within relevance theory, I shall argue here that a translator cannot avoid such questions, and must use clues in the style of the poem to provide answers. As an illustration I look at a German poem about the Holocaust and consider how its central ambiguity can be rendered in English.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalLanguage and Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

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