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Protest and Dissent

Conflicting Spaces in Translation and Culture

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Edited By Agnieszka Pantuchowicz and Anna Warso

Essays collected in this book discuss textual and discursive formulations of dominance and resistance. The authors analyze how they are narrated and re-narrated, framed and reframed in different social, political and language communities and realities, through different media and means, and translated into different contexts and languages. As the ways we name, rename, or label events, people and places have implications in the real world, the essays are also meant to investigate the ways in which we partake in negotiating its construction, its changing meanings and senses through the stories we tell and the practices we live by.

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Translating Dissent: Austrian Refugees in Manhattan

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Joshua Parker

Translating Dissent:

Austrian Refugees in Manhattan

Abstract: This article discusses poetry published in the United States by Austrian refugees during their country’s occupation and administration by the Third Reich, a body of work outlining its authors’ trials in escape, while, from a position of safety, reflecting dissentingly on the politics and global crisis that had left them refugees in America. Poems discussed are by Frederick (Fritz) Brainin, Maria Berl-Lee, and Ulrich Becher.

Keywords: exile, Austria, literature, poetry, American Studies

“Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent?” The question, Jacob Bronowski’s, remains as rhetorical today as his mid-twentieth-century corollary was pointed in its own time: “Several have died of conformity in our lifetime” (61). This article discusses poetry published by Austrian refugees during their country’s occupation and administration by the Third Reich, a body of work outlining its authors’ trials in escape, while, from a position of safety, reflecting dissentingly on the politics and global crisis that had left them refugees in America. It briefly examines some of the difficulties and resonances in translating their implicit protests of a particular historical crisis, for a contemporary English-speaking audience seeking to contextualize the humanitarian crises of our own era.

Of the estimated 3.5 % of Austrians targeted for deportation or internment on purely ethnic grounds after Austria joined the Third Reich in 1938, some 135,000 managed to escape the Reich’s borders, among them an...

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