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National Identity in Translation

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Edited By Lucyna Harmon and Dorota Osuchowska

Language as an essential and constitutive part of national identity is what obviously gets lost in translation, being substituted by the language of another nation. For this reason, one could perceive national identity and translation as contradictory and proclaim a total untranslatability of the former. However, such a simplified conclusion would clearly deny the actual translation practice, where countless successful attempts to preserve the element of national identity can be testified. The authors of the book focus on the possibilities of various approaches to national identity as a research subject within Translation Studies. The authors hope that the variety of topics presented in this book will inspire further research.

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Anthologies of Ukrainian Literature in Germany as a Reflection of the Struggle for National Identity

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Abstract: In this chapter the authors discuss how Ukrainian literature was represented in East and West Germany after the World War II with a special focus on anthologies as an intersection of personal, literary and social domains. The perusal of German-language anthologies of Ukrainian literature in the GDR prompted a conclusion about the dominance of the ideological motives for translating in the first post-war decades. The view of national literatures from the vantage point of Russian literature undermined the literary significance of the translated works of Ukrainian authors. The analysis of anthologies of Ukrainian literature in West Germany allowed the authors to consider translations of Ukrainian emigrants as an instrument of national resistance and struggle for national identity.

Keywords: anthology, translation, national identity, Ukrainian literature, Germany

1 Preliminary Considerations: An Anthology of a Foreign Literature as a Representation of a Different Culture

Anthologies of a foreign literature give readers not only an idea of a foreign country and its culture. They also shape the formation of certain stereotypes about the national identity of its people. We share the opinion of O. Haleta, who believes that anthologies can be regarded as a literary genre, as a “way of creating values, […] as texts with a complex structure, in which the compiler acts as a narrator who relates his or her own story with certain ‘moral implications’ composed of texts of various authors” (Haleta 2012:72).

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