Space, Experience, Consciousness
Marianne Moore’s Zoning of Germany: On Moore’s Translation of Adalbert Stifter’s “Rock Crystal”
← 292 | 293 →Paweł Stachura
In 1944 and 1945 Marianne Moore co-worked, together with Elizabeth Mayer, on a translation of Adalbert Stifter’s short story “Rock Crystal,” which was published in 1945 by Pantheon Books,1 positively reviewed by W. H. Auden, republished in serialized form in The Kansas City Times in 1951, and met with a warm reception in subsequent essays by Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy. W. H. Auden enthused about the “quiet” prose of the Austrian author, who published mid-19th century and is generally considered as a major representative of the minor literary current of the Biedermeier, a loose term which corresponds to the period between 1815 and 1848, before German culture came to be defined by realism in literature, progress in science, and nationalism in politics. “Rock Crystal” is one of the best known stories by Stifter, initially published in what is probably one of his most popular works today, the short-story collection, and also a gift book, called Bunte Steine (Colorful Stones, 1853). The translation by Moore and Mayer was the second translation of the story; the first was by Lee M. Hollander, a German and Norse philologists at the University of Wisconsin, and University of Texas, Austin, published in 1914, in the 8th volume of an anthology of German Classics, a volume which consisted of “novels of provincial life” (Francke 1). The two translations were prepared and published at turning points of German history, when German-American relations went through turbulent and radical changes, as...
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