Translating the Poetry of the Holocaust: Translation, Style and the Reader

Author(s): Jean Boase-Beier

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Taking a cognitive approach, this book asks what poetry, and in particular Holocaust poetry, does to the reader - and to what extent the translation of this poetry can have the same effects. It is informed by current theoretical discussion and features many practical examples. Holocaust poetry differs from other genres of writing about the Holocaust in that it is not so much concerned to document facts as to document feelings and the sense of an experience. It shares the potential of all poetry to have profound effects on the thoughts and feelings of the reader. This book examines how the openness to engagement that Holocaust poetry can engender, achieved through stylistic means, needs to be preserved in translation if the translated poem is to function as a Holocaust poem in any meaningful sense. This is especially true when historical and cultural distance intervenes. The first book of its kind and by a world-renowned scholar and translator, this is required reading.


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Explores how cognitive poetic theory helps us understand poetry in general and Holocaust poetry in particular.

Professor Boase-Beier's deeply reflective and many-layered book about the poetics of Holocaust poetry requires more than one attentive reading. It is a brilliant and meticulous analysis about the process of reading poetry - through its variously translated forms - intelligently, with due empathy and proper cognitive regard... Her work emphasises the need for empathy and memory as she highlights the symbiotic and living relationship between the original author, the various translator(s) and active readers. This book is to be valued and returned to, again and again. -- Raficq Abdulla, poet and translator A stimulating and extremely determined attempt to get to grips with the relationship between text and context and the centrality of that relationship to our construction of meaning in general and to the practice of translation in particular. Whether Boase-Beier is using these reflections as an aid for the translator, or using the translation problem to get closer to the texts and our experience of them is largely irrelevant. -- Tim Parks, Professor in Literature and Translation at IULM University, Italy

Jean Boase-Beier is Professor of Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia, UK.

1. Holocaust Poetry and Holocaust Poetics 2. Reading Holocaust Poetry in and as Translation 3. Translating Holocaust Poetry 4. Translation and Understanding Bibliography Index

General Fields

  • : 9781441178657
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : May 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jean Boase-Beier
  • : Paperback
  • : 192