Publication details [#12959]

Thomson-Wohlgemuth, Gabriele. 2007. On the other side of the wall: book production, censorship and translation in East Germany. In Billiani, Francesca, ed. Modes of censorship and translation: national contexts and diverse media. Manchester: St. Jerome. pp. 93–116.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


In the German Democratic Republic, censorship was clearly performed with the intention of shielding the readership from certain ideas, ideas deemed undesirable by a regime which feared that its project to create a new kind of society could be disrupted. Censorship functioned through a network of interwoven and interdependent systems which made the methodical supervision of the entire publishing industry possible. However, the production of approved literature was not achieved merely through editorial control and, with respect to translations, through textual modifications. Censorship was present right from the early stages of the planning of projects, and by the time a translator received a manuscript for translation, a major part of this supervision and control had already taken place. Hence, by examining some of these extra-textual factors, this article aims to shed light on pre-editorial censorship. Firstly, it discusses the constraints on the publishing industry and describes the institutional structure of censorship; secondly, it highlights some of the discursive strategies used by publishers to ease a book past the censors.
Source : Based on abstract in book