Book review
Wiebke Sievers. Contemporary German Prose in Britain and France (1980–1999): A Case Study of the Significance of Otherness in Translation
Lewiston-Queenston-Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007. vi + 295 pp. ISBN 0-7734-5360-1

Reviewed by Armin Paul Frank
Göttingen

Table of contents

Dr. Sievers’ University of Warwick doctoral dissertation is reminiscent of Dr. Ria Vanderauwera’s 1985 study of twenty years of translating Dutch novels into English, 1960–1980 (Vanderauwera 1985). Both scholars focus on an impressively large corpus: Sievers on 98 German-British translations (with 130 German-French translations serving as an occasional “contrastive foil”, p. 40), Vanderauwera on 72. The large number of texts make a similar approach necessary: to select a small sample for textual study of a limited set of problems and otherwise treat translations as commodities by considering selection and marketing as well as reviewing and other modes of reception. Both scholars have an enviable command of pertinent literature, and both take a critical stand. I am not quite sure whether Vanderauwera would agree with my impression that she worked, in a refreshingly critical manner, from within the polysystem theory, whereas Sievers, I trust, will not feel misrepresented by my assertion that one of her objectives is to set recent commentators right on the name and nature of Fremdheit in translation and translation studies.

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