Book review
Zygmumt Tęcza. Das Wortspiel in der Übersetzung: Stanisław Lems Spiele mit dem Wort als Gegenstand interlingualen Transfers.
Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1997. x + 235 S. pp. ISBN 3-484-30367-0 DM 124,-; ÖS 905,-; SFr. 110,-. (Linguïstische Arbeiten, 367).

Reviewed by Dirk Delabastita

Table of contents

This book studies how German translators have coped with the dazzling range of wordplays in the pun-packed work of Stanisław Lem (born 1921), the Polish writer celebrated for his combinations of science-fiction, grotesque, fairy tale and philosophical writing. Tęcza's study situates itself squarely in a linguistic approach to translation [ p. 169 ]as well as in a positivistic research methodology; it resorts to equivalence as a central concept; it unproblematically blends description with evaluation; and it does not sport a single one of all the buzzwords of contemporary translation research (translation norm, model, invisibility, difference, gender, discourse, and so on). It is in other words a profoundly unfashionable book. Some will judge more harshly, saying that it is just out of touch (and they might refer to the bibliography which indeed contains a very small proportion of works published after 1990). Despite this fact, and despite a number of other reservations one may have about this study, it is an interesting work which displays certain qualities often missing in more up-to-date publications, not least a permanent concern with conceptual clarity and precision.

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