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Title: Gender and style in the translation and reception of Ingeborg Bachmann's 'Todesarten' texts
Author: Fisher, Lina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 6036
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis compares style in the ‘Todesarten’ [literally: manners of death] texts by Austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1973) with their English translations: the novel Malina (Malina; Philip Boehm), the novel draft Das Buch Franza (The Book of Franza; Peter Filkins) and the story collection Simultan (Three Paths to the Lake; Mary Fran Gilbert). The fact that Bachmann was a woman significantly influenced the descriptions by German-language critics in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s of the author herself, as well as their evaluations of her work. Bachmann’s extended metaphors, ambiguity, iconicity, transitivity structures and intertextuality suggest that her prose texts, and especially Malina, should be regarded as proto-feminist masterpieces whose contemplation of the post-war human condition and society’s treatment of women were far ahead of their contemporaries. Boehm’s and Filkins’ translation choices show parallels with criticism expressed in German-language reviews. The reduction of the networks of stylistic features in the translations results in a weakening of the links between content, style and politics which are crucial to Bachmann’s texts. These changes mean that the English-language reader experiences Bachmann’s texts in a fundamentally different way. The male translators largely silence what I term women’s language in Malina and Franza, and consequently conceal much of Bachmann’s proto-feminist message. It is clear that these changes are not necessitated by the constraints of translating Bachmann’s complex texts into English because Gilbert, the female translator of Simultan, manages to recreate the texts’ style.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available