Literary context: Shakespeare and translation research.

German Shakespeares

By Chris Griffiths

I am currently undertaking translations of German scholarship on the reception of Shakespeare. My current translation piece concerns the “controversial” translations of Hans Rothe in the twentieth century. This piece will be completed and submitted for publication by early 2017.

Dr Birgit Oehle and I have been investigating Dorothea Tieck’s nineteenth-century translations of Shakespeare’s sonnImage Sonnet 151ets. Tieck was the daughter of Ludwig Tieck, who, with August Schlegel, was among the most prominent of German translators of Shakespeare. Hers were the first full German translation of all 154 sonnets; the previous translator of the sonnets, Karl Lachmann, had omitted sonnets 134, 135 and 151 on the grounds that they were untranslatable (in relation to the two former) and obscene (in reference to the latter).

We may conduct our analysis of these pieces using Jessica Trevitt’s “triangulated” methodology, which attempts to deconstruct the “source-target” binary of mainstream translation studies by identifying other cultural forces that impact on translations processes. We may propose, for example, that the key cultural relationship of these translations was not between the source-English and target-German, but rather Germany’s reaction against French classicis, which prompted an embrace of the Germanic naturalism of Shakespeare.

 

Literary context: Shakespeare and translation research.

The Shakespeare Library, LMU, Munich.

By Chris Griffiths

In late July 2016, Dr Birgit Oehle and LMU Birgit and Chris 1.jpgI spent some productive days doing research at the Munich Shakespeare Library at LMU in Munich. We uncovered materials relating to the history of German translations of Shakespeare, and came up with a number of interesting pieces of German Shakespeare scholarship that have not been translated. Some of these will be translated in collaboration by myself and Birgit, and with students enrolled in German studies at Warwick. All of these pieces represent different levels of difficulty in translation (scholarly and archaic language is a significant obstacle, even for fluent speakers), and we are considering the possibility of a collected volume of these translations for Anglophone Shakespeare scholars.

Thanks and acknowledgements are due to Bettina Boecker and the staff at the Munich Shakespeare Library for their kind assistance in our endeavours.


Introducing collaborative translation

Our project explores how the interlingual translation of texts may be undertaken through a collaborative process that addresses and enhances a range of language and disciplinary skills. Recent initiatives in collaborative translation research have emphasised the many possible configurations the practice may take and the benefits that it offers. However, as an emerging body of ideas it is yet to influence industry standards, which remain premised on single- practitioner practice.

We propose a model of collaboration that can be implemented in a variety
of contexts, demonstrating how an inclusive translation practice undertaken by participants with complementary skill sets can be utilised to pursue a range of context-specific outcomes.

Please find more about the project here.

#transcollaborate