Kafka Translated: How Translators have Shaped our Reading of Kafka

Kafka Translated: How Translators have Shaped our Reading of Kafka

by Michelle Woods

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The first book to look at the impact of translators and translation on how we read Kafka's work.See more details below


The first book to look at the impact of translators and translation on how we read Kafka's work.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/06/2014
Woods (Translating Milan Kundera) fuses history, semiotics, linguistics, and literature onto the extensive record of Kafka translations. Here, translation is not presented as a dry or romanticizing enterprise of sacred texts, but as lively writing which restores the connection between the humans who translate and the texts they produce. Woods is a wonderful narrator for this admittedly dense scholarship. The scholar's creativity is matched by her contagious love of language. She shows us how a translator's cultural background and gender appear in both the texts they create and the reception of these texts. The book transforms existing notions of errors into exhibits on ways of seeing, on both the part of the translator and the critic. While this study is specific to Kafka, its ramifications are much broader. Woods' familiarity with other canonical writers often read in translation—especially Kundera—shapes her perspective on Kafka's translations, his response to them, and why a translator makes different choices about his work. Anyone interested in the craft and politics of translation, or fascinated by the movement of ideas between languages and mediums, will find "pleasure and humor" here, two traits Woods argues have been neglected in our understanding of Kafka's work. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"Kafka Translated, as an intelligent and sensible study of Kafkás work through the lens of some of its translations, elegantly dismounts some traditionally accepted views in contemporary Kafka criticism and in the field of translation studies. Showing the crucial role played by translations and translators in our (even not specialized) understanding of Kafkás texts, Michelle Woodś close analysis of Kafka's writing highlights the aporetical questions translation poses as a cultural and historically determined hermeneutical practice. Woodś book is now an indispensable reading both in the field of contemporary literary criticism and translation studies." - Susana Kampff Lages, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Brazilian translator of Kafkás Amerika/The man who disappeared
E. WIlliams

Though Kafka's language takes center stage in this insightful, well-researched book, Woods (former director, Centre for Translation and Textual Studies, Dublin City Univ., Ireland) Also provides a sustained analysis of the process of literary translation, putting the practice of literary translation into the service of textual criticism and interpretation. She compares the cultural and historical backgrounds of two of kafkas first translators, Milena Jesenka and Willa Muir, and contemporary translators, Mark Harman and Michael Hofmann, Transforming the polemics of competing or differing translations-what she calls the 'gotcha game' of finding errors- into positive dialectical process that yields refreshing insights into aspects of Kafka's writing. Woods is less interested in interpretive transgressions and infidelities to the source of texts than she is in exploring how supposed "mistakes can shed light on textual intricacies and interpretive resistance that confound Kafka's readers. Woods complements her literary analysis with an exemplary foray into the cinematic adaptation of Kafka work by focusing on controversial appropriations by such luminaries as Orson Welles, Federico Fellini, and Steven Soderbergh, who like their literary co-conspirators have shaped the way one reads and visualizes Kafka.

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
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Barnes & Noble
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1 MB

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