[New publication] Inaugural Issue of ‘Chronotopos: A Journal of Translation History’

Chronopotos: A Journal of Translation History

Inaugural Issue, 2019

Link to the issue: https://chronotopos.eu/index.php/cts/issue/view/25/full%20issue

About this journal:

Doing Translation History is booming. In recent years, various academic fields, such as Translation Studies, Literary Studies, History of Knowledge Research, or Transfer Studies, have, to an ever-increasing extent, taken on translation phenomena from an historical angle. This has, in fact, led to a vast and growing archive of individual and heterogeneous ‘cases’. The sheer amount of rapidly accumulated data could also cause researchers to lose sight of the ‘big picture’.

Translation history has a lot to offer: a wide range of un-researched, “raw” material and the promise of providing new insights into transfer processes, history of science, literature and language, history itself and many more disciplines because it brings new perspectives, transcultural approaches to the table. But the study of translation histories lacks systematic approaches, critically reviewed methods and common (TS-based) perspectives.

The journal’s name Chronotopos represents its program in various ways: the historicity of translatorial events shall be discussed – meaning their relationship with time and space. Furthermore, this discussion needs to be related to historiography, that is the narrative of translatorial events.

Chronotopos is a platform to exchange and share data (“maps and timelines”) and presents case studies of translation events, as well as discusses and reflects how to write translation history.

The main topics of Chronotopos therefore are:

1) Settings: Spaces in time, Schauplätze, are a relevant category for translatorial events to prevent ahistorical generalizations.

2) Agents: (in first instance translators) and the way they act or move in space have already become of central interest in Translation Studies (see for instance www.uelex.de).

3) Narration: From a narrative point of view, it is important to choose the relevant units of space and time (Raum- und Zeiteinheiten). A transcultural or transnational perspective could bring new insights due to the fact that translation events usually deal with more than one of the traditional national or cultural spaces and also because it is a relatively new perspective that has not received attention so far. 
Transcultural categories could therefore provide a structuring frame for the Cultural history of translation that is to be written.

4) Time: What role does time carry out within this structure? Are time-based categories and concepts (periodization, temporalities) conceivable and useful for structuring Translation History?

Chronotopos invites TS researchers as well as researchers of other disciplines to discuss the above presented range of topics in Translation History. The journal will be published in an online only, open-access format to put into practice the idea of scientific research as a social action that is free, accessible and transparent. Chronotopos publications will go through a double-blind review process. Nevertheless, we encourage a direct and personal exchange between the author and the reviewer on a voluntary basis to encourage a fruitful discussion and thus to improve the review process. The review process will be published together with the article.

In the current issue:

Time Matters: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations in Translation Timescapes, by Judy Wakabayashi

Abstract: Time is a fundamental concept and context in translation history that merits more specific consideration than it has generally been accorded by translation scholars. This paper examines conceptual issues surrounding time, such as culture-specific time consciousness and teleological, linear and circular concepts of time, as well as change and continuity. It also explores some methodological issues relating to the treatment of time when writing translation histories, with a special focus on the principles and problems of periodization and how to structure narratives, including non-periodizing principles. Fernand Braudel’s three timescales of historical analysis are considered in terms of translation history, and the affordances of digital history in relation to time issues are also introduced. The paper concludes with a brief cautionary note about anachronistic interpretations and the compression of time when studying recent history.

Wessen Übersetzung? Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Begriffs „übersetzerisches Œuvre“ am Beispiel der Klagenfurter Übersetzerin Hertha Lorenz (1916-1989), by Aleksey Tashinskiy

Abstract: Hertha Lorenz (1916–1989) was a literary editor, translator and writer from Austria. Over decades, she was closely affiliated with the Klagenfurt-based Eduard Kaiser publishing house. In the publisher’s peritexts, Lorenz is given as either the translator or the editor (“revised by”) of various publications, predominantly European classics of world literature, such as Boccaccio, Charlotte Brontë, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Dumas, Hugo, Maupassant, Ovid, Poe, Sienkiewicz, Stendhal, Tolstoy or Twain. A historical reconstruction of Lorenz’s translatorial oeuvre requires the ability to accurately attribute work to her as an individual and thus needs to disambiguate the translatorship of publications. Here, we have to consider (a) the collaborative-transformative character of translatorial processes on the one hand, and (b) the situatedness of translatorial work within a particular literary and publishing scene on the other. These issues will be addressed on the basis of selected extracts from Lorenz’s work.

Le dilemme de Buridan : Une histoire de la traduction belge est-elle possible ?, by Lieven D’hulst

Abstract: Whenever they attempt to cover longer periods, translation histories, like national and comparative literary histories, face the paradox of Buridan’s ass: should they limit the scope to intranslations in the national language only or should they open up to extranslations of national works in other languages? The first option being commonly taken, translation histories tend to follow the restrictive path of national literary histories.

However, when dealing with multilingual literatures, like Belgian literature, such a dependence yields more problematic effects: since histories focus on one language only, translation histories simply ignore the intensive translation exchanges between the two major national languages, as well as the role played by Belgian translations in the international circulation of literature. This contribution aims at disentangling the various issues associated with translation in Belgium and proposes some solutions for its analysis, including an integrated view of qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Georg Venzkys geschickter Übersetzer. Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für die Translationswissenschaft, by Julija Boguna

Abstract: In 1734, the first seperate treatise on translation theory written in German was published in Gottscheds „Beyträge zur critischen Historie der deutschen Sprache, Poesie und Beredsamkeit“ – Georg Venzky’s „Das Bild eines geschickten Übersetzers“. This paper presents the main features of this treatise. It focuses on the location of this treatise in historical representations of translation (usually literary history). The main emphasis will be on translation-historiographical considerations using the example of Venzky and his “image”, and the usefulness of a meta-historiographical perspective for translation studies. Furthermore, but to a lesser extent, the benefit of a metahistoriographical perspective for translation didactics will be discussed. This will be done in the context of the demand for the “humanization” of the history of translation (Pym) and the implementation of this demand in the translation-historical research currently establishing itself – also by using the example of the Germersheim Translator’s Dictionary.

Übersetzen als „parteiisch sondierendes Recycling“. Peter Rühmkorfs Umgang mit Leben und Werk des Walther von der Vogelweide, by Andreas F. Kelletat

Abstract: In 1975 Peter Rühmkorf (1929–2008) published his 70 page essay “Walther von der Vogelweide – Reichssänger und Hausierer”. The text contained 34 translations of Walther’s poems, whose Middle High German versions were also printed in the appendix. How these translations came about, how Rühmkorf selected and presented the poems, which translation methods he used and how he justified his approach – particularly in distinction to already existing translations – what translating meant for his own writing, how he located his own writing and the Walther translations in the political context of the post-68 era, how he used the Walther publication to re-strengthen his position in the competitive West German literary field, what role other actors of this field (critics, publishers, authors and commentators, Germanists) played in it – these are the questions dealt with in the article.

Akteure des Wandels: Ein Rollenmodell des Übersetzungsprozesses anhand einer Untersuchung englisch-deutscher Literaturübersetzungen aus der Zwischenkriegszeit, by Christian Weiß

Abstract: The intricacies of the cultural import of modernist English literature into German-speaking countries in the Twenties and Thirties set difficult and intriguing tasks not only for translators. Translation studies scholars alike are faced with demands for tailor-made approaches to measure the translation process and accentuate its conditions and the influence of individuals within the enquiry of texts and actors. With the help of a task model of the translation process this article aims to account for the decisions that organise this process. Drawing on the correspondence between the German publisher Insel and its translators – notably Herberth E. Herlitschka – I will try to sketch the network of decisions makers, its power relations, the range of tasks, the matters of discourse and the consequences of the respective decisions. These sometimes friendly, sometimes heated dialogues greatly enhance our understanding of the multifaceted range of translators’ tasks, the actors’ basis for decision-making, and the dominance of translational norms and allow insight into the partners’ self-conception in an increasingly international publishing industry.

Where does philosophy take place in translation? Reflections on the relevance of microstructural translation units within philosophical discourse, by Lavinia Heller; translated by Charleton Payne

Abstract: In the course of the cultural and social turn the problem of the translation unit has been widely marginalized by the attention towards other problems. However, the increasing interest of different disciplines in translation processes occurring in the context of academia and philosophy presses translation studies to (re)consider this issue giving rise to the following questions: What are the crucial translation units which trigger the transformation of a thought collective or the transfer of a thought style (Fleck)? What is the relationship between translation processes on the micro-level of the scientific text and the “transfer” of philosophical thought or the transformations within knowledge cultures? In order to understand the actual contribution of translators to the production of science, it is not enough to acknowledge that certain texts have been translated or not, and by whom. To gain insight into the agency of translators in academic discourse, it is indispensable that we look for their actual philosophical or scientific creativity. With this in mind, the article will focus on the most dense part of philosophical works with regard to technical terminology, namely the glossary. There, micro-structural translation units are concentrated and veritably “put on display”. The aim is to show how this site of terminological meticulousness opens up for the translator a sphere of influence and creativity in the sense of knowledge production.

Interpreting prisoners-of-war. Sketches of a military translation culture in Finnish POW camps during World War II (1941-1944), by Pekka Kujamäki and Päivi Pasanen

Abstract: In the four years of Finland’s Continuation War against the USSR, Finnish troops captured 67,000 Soviet prisoners-of-war who were handled behind lines in an extended network of POW formations. Drawing from archived correspondence between the responsible military administration and the POW camp commanders, the article analyses the resources allocated for the management of communication issues as wells as the discourses concerning the interpreter’s tasks, role, trustworthiness, and positioning in the strenuous and violent conditions of POW camps.