Beiträge zur Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschwissenschaft (Köln/Germersheim)
Edited By Barbara Ahrens, Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Monika Krein-Kühle
The Godless World of Winnetou. The Ideological Imperative in Socialism (Nike K. Pokorn)
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Nike K. Pokorn
The Godless World of Winnetou The Ideological Imperative in Socialism1
It is hard to find a cultural environment where the popularity of Karl May’s Winnetou would come close to the admiration of this character in German-speaking countries. But if we tried, undoubtedly the former Socialist Yugoslavia would come out on top, despite the fact that the Winnetou presented to the Yugoslav public differed considerably from May’s original presentation of this mythical hero. This article focuses on Yugoslav Socialist translators and translations of this work by Karl May and argues that Socialist translation in different cultural and linguistic environments purged the translated text of the same or similar elements, despite the fact that translators in all Socialist states, like in other totalitarian regimes, were subjected to different forms of censorship, ranging from punitive, repressive or post-censorship to different forms of preventive or prior censorship, also to self-censorship of the translator. This study of Yugoslav translations of Winnetou is part of a wider research (Pokorn 2012) that looked at all retranslations of children’s literature and juvenile fiction2 in the Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia (SFRY) and examined how Communism and Socialism through their hegemonic pressure found expression in translation practice.