Event Title

Translation, Interpretation, a New Creation: Stefan George and His Umdichtungen

Presenter Information

Mariko Wakayama, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A154

Start Date

4-24-2015 2:45 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 3:45 PM

Abtract

What makes a good translation? In the early 20th century in the German-speaking world, this question provoked a dispute between literary giants Stefan George and Karl Kraus. George translated Shakespeare’s sonnets in the style of Umdichtung, or poetic alteration of existing works. Kraus’s response attempted to discredit George’s attitude towards translation, cast doubt on his command of the mother tongue, and questioned his worth as a German poet. This project explores this debate and the ways in which it engaged questions of poetic license and styles, its relevance to understanding and evaluating George’s work, and broader questions on the art of translation.

Notes

Session 2, Panel 8 - Interpretation / Composition / Reception: Meditations on Translation
Moderator: Sebastiaan Faber, Professor of Hispanic Studies

Major

Comparative Literature; German

Advisor(s)

Jed Deppman, Comparative Literature
Elizabeth Hamilton, German

Project Mentor(s)

Elizabeth Hamilton, German

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Apr 24th, 2:45 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Translation, Interpretation, a New Creation: Stefan George and His Umdichtungen

Science Center, A154

What makes a good translation? In the early 20th century in the German-speaking world, this question provoked a dispute between literary giants Stefan George and Karl Kraus. George translated Shakespeare’s sonnets in the style of Umdichtung, or poetic alteration of existing works. Kraus’s response attempted to discredit George’s attitude towards translation, cast doubt on his command of the mother tongue, and questioned his worth as a German poet. This project explores this debate and the ways in which it engaged questions of poetic license and styles, its relevance to understanding and evaluating George’s work, and broader questions on the art of translation.