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Translation Studies and Translation Practice: Proceedings of the 2nd International TRANSLATA Conference, 2014

Part 1


Edited By Lew N. Zybatow, Andy Stauder and Michael Ustaszewski

TRANSLATA II was the second in a series of triennial conferences on Translation and Interpreting Studies, held at the University of Innsbruck. The series is conceptualized as a forum for Translation Studies research. The contributions to this volume focus on humo(u)r translation, legal translation, and human-machine interaction in translation. The contributors also regard computer-aided translation, specialised translation, terminology as well as audiovisual translation and professional aspects in translation and interpreting.

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‘Nicht-Fry-Sein’ Ulrich Blumenbach’s German Translations of Stephen Fry’s Works (Marjolijn Storm)


Marjolijn Storm, Saarbrücken

‘Nicht-Fry-Sein’ Ulrich Blumenbach’s German Translations of Stephen Fry’s Works

Abstract: A descriptive analysis of Ulrich Blumenbach’s translations of Stephen Fry’s works based on Heibert’s and Hausmann’s definitions of wordplay, showing that a lexical/semantic approach is not sufficient to categorise the findings. Also, Blumenbach’s visibility as a translator throughout his translations of Fry’s oeuvre is highlighted, enforcing the humorous effect of his texts.

1. Introduction

Actor, writer, columnist, wit, quiz show host, twitterer, there are many names that spring to mind when one tries to describe Stephen Fry’s occupations. Next to nonfictional writings he has so far written four novels (The Liar, 1991; The Hippopotamus, 1994; Making History, 1997; The Stars’ Tennis Balls, 2000), as well as one volume of – for lack of a better word – aphorisms (Mrs Fry’s Diary, 2010), which have all been translated into German by Ulrich Blumenbach1. A literary translator since 1994, Blumenbach has translated works by Kinky Friedman, Arthur Miller, and Jack Kerouac (DNB). He won many prizes2 for the translation of David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest”. This paper sets out to explore how Fry’s humour was translated, and also, in what way Blumenbach renders himself visible to the reader as a translator.

2. Stephen Fry’s Humour Translated

The humorous aspects I am going to examine belong to the category of wordplay. Hausmann (1974, 13) defines wordplay as “a complex text whose complexity is derived from the plurivalence of a...

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