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Literary Retranslation in Context


Edited By Susanne M. Cadera and Andrew Samuel Walsh

The present study examines the interrelation between literary texts, their successive retranslations and the corresponding historical, social and cultural backgrounds that inform these versions. In the case of each text, the authors analyse both the external factors (sociohistorical circumstances, publishing context, authors, translators, etc.) and the internal ones (text analysis, translation procedures or strategies) that influence this interrelation. The book also considers how the decision to retranslate a literary work may be due not only to the commercial criteria established by publishers, but also to external developments in the historical, cultural or social environment of the target culture, or to an evolution in the poetic and aesthetic considerations of the translations themselves, since translational activities and approaches change and evolve over time. Consequently, the procedures inherent in translation may influence the reception and perception of the original text in the target culture. Finally, the book explores how the retranslations of a work of literature may even change the image of an author and the perception of his or her work that has been established by previous translations.
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7 Georg Büchner’s Fiction in Spain: Translations of Lenz (Andrea Schäpers)


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7 Georg Büchner’s Fiction in Spain: Translations of Lenz


This chapter aims to provide an introduction to the Spanish translations of Lenz, Georg Büchner’s most modern description of an eighteenth-century poet’s descent into madness. It begins with a short overview of his life and work and then focuses on the only prose text Büchner created. Some details are given about the work’s reception both in Germany and in Spain, but special interest is drawn to the translations and retranslations offered to the Spanish reader. The six translations found in the inventory created from different databases and biographical catalogues all have their specific backgrounds and focus on particular aspects. It is interesting to see how the translators’ choices affect their versions of the text and thus have an impact on the reception of the author’s work in Spain.


In 2013, Germany commemorated the 200th birthday of the precocious writer Georg Büchner, who was born in 1813 in a little town in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1837 at the age of twenty-three, he died unexpectedly from typhoid fever in Zurich. Nonetheless, his brief literary career gave birth to works that firmly belong to universal literature and it is no coincidence that the literary prize for German language authors carries his name (Georg-Büchner-Preis). Moreover, his dramas are still performed in the most prestigious theatres around the world. In...

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