Death to neologisms : domestication in the English retranslations of Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig

  • Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig (1912) owes much of its fame in English to a translation from 1928 by Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter. The novella however has in fact been translated many times – first by Burke (1924, with a revised edition following in 1970), and, after Lowe-Porter, by Luke (1988), Koelb (1994), Appelbaum (1995), Neugroschel (1998), Chase (1999), Heim (2004), Doege (2007) and Hansen & Hansen (2012). Most of these versions are neither known to readers nor discussed in academic literature. This paper, which comes as part of a larger study on linguistic creativity in Der Tod in Venedig, focuses on the use of neologisms by Mann and what happens to them in (re)translation. Relying on a digital corpus composed of the complete set of English retranslations and a corpus-based methodology, the paper argues that, despite the extended time period between the publications and different translation conditions, neologisms are treated uniformly by the translators. Mann’s coinages are nearly always obliterated through normalisation and, if preserved, demonstrate less creativity overall than in the ST, raising questions about the Retranslation Hypothesis (RH) which proposes that early TT versions tend to domesticate while later ones increasingly foreignise.

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Author:Marlies Gabriele Prinzl
Parent Title (English):International journal of literary linguistics : IJLL
Publisher:Johannes Gutenberg-Universität
Place of publication:Mainz, Germany
Contributor(s):Leena Kolehmainen, Esa Penttilä, Piet van Poucke
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2016
Date of first Publication:2016/08/29
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/11/27
Tag:Death in Venice; Thomas Mann; corpus-based, methodology; linguistic creativity; neologisms; retranslation
Issue:3, Art. 2
Page Number:30
First Page:1
Last Page:30
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:International journal of literary linguistics
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0