Deutsche Übersetzungen englischer Lyrik (W.H. Auden)- Versuch einer Verwissenschaftlichung der Übersetzungskritik
Abstract This work tries to establish a framework that allows to academically describe the relati- onship between a piece of poetry translation and its original. Thereby it seeks to evaluate in detail not only what is lost, but also what is gained in the translated work – i. e. to describe the quantity and the quality of similarity between the original poem and its translation. Invisibility still seems to be one of the criteria for the quality of a translation. Friedmar Apel, 2003 (my translation)1 Over the past few decades especially, translation theory has with manifold approaches sought to illuminate the complex system of factors which determine the exact shape of a translation. Despite the variety of equally legitimate translation strategies uncovered by translation theory, Friedmar Apel’s equation of translation quality and invisibility still seems to hold. Translation criticism does indeed seldom go beyond such flat dichotomies, among which also “free” and “literal”, “congenial” and “complete failure”, suggesting that the “mirror” of the translational act can only either perfectly reproduce the original or render an entirely distorted image of it. This normative perspective in criticism is adopted even more readily when it comes to the translation of poetry – ever so often deemed altogether impossible. In defining the exact task and nature of translation criticism, the importance of a clear differentiation between “academic” and “journalistic” criticism cannot be underestimated. Journalistic criticism does not aim at quasi-scientific exactness and may contend itself with subjective statements about the literary experience. If it does,...
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