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Translating Emotion

Studies in Transformation and Renewal Between Languages


Edited By Kathleen Shields and Michael Clarke

This collection of essays can be situated in a development that has been underway in translation studies since the early 1990s, namely the increasing focus on translators themselves: translators as embodied agents, not as instruments or conduits. The volume deals with different kinds of emotion and different levels of the translation process. For example, one essay examines the broad socio-cultural context, and others focus on the social event enacted in translation, or on the translator’s own performative act. Some of the essays also problematize the linguistic challenges posed by the cultural distance of the emotions embodied in the texts to be translated.
The collection is broad in scope, spanning a variety of languages, cultures and periods, as well as different media and genres. The essays bring diverse questions to a topic rarely directly addressed and map out important areas of enquiry: the translator as an emotional cultural intermediary, the importance of emotion to cognitive meaning, the place of emotion in linguistic reception, and translation itself as a trope whereby emotion can be expressed.


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FLORIAN KROBB - Emotions Contained and Converted: Goethe’s Roman Elegies and Translation -9


FLORIAN KROBB Emotions Contained and Converted: Goethe’s Roman Elegies and Translation Goethe and world literature In the German context and beyond, Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749–1832) is central to the debates on translation as practitioner and as theorist. This is not only because he was an avid translator himself, being amongst the first who attempted an early systematics of translational activity and purpose (in his Noten und Abhandlungen zum West-Östlichen Divan [Notes and Ref lections on the West-Eastern Divan, 1819] and also in various other places), but also because he worked as a great totaliser, integrator and unifier in literature and in the sciences. In this way he promoted condi- tions in which translation could f lourish.1 The concept of Weltliteratur, a term of Goethe’s coinage, encapsulates this notion of translingual human expression.2 It is no coincidence that this term from then on provided the umbrella under which the attendant issues were discussed. Goethe’s famous pronouncements on world literature date from the late 1820s. For a variety of reasons this timing is significant. He starts to 1 The notes and ref lections are printed in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Das Problem des Übersetzens, ed. by Hans-Joachim Störig (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buch- gesellschaft, 1973), 34–7. For an English translation see André Lefevere, ed., Translating Literature: the German Tradition from Luther to Rosenzweig (Assen: van Gorcum, 1977), 35–9; Lawrence Venuti, ed., The Translation Studies Reader 2nd edn (New York and London: Routledge, 2004), 64–6. 2 David Damrosch, What...

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