Book reviewÜbersetzungsanthologien: Eine Typologie und eine Untersuchung am Beispiel der amerikanischen Versdichtung in deutschsprachigen Anthologien 1920-1960. Frankfurt am Main-Berlin-Bern-New York-Paris-Wien: Peter Lang, 1992. 398 pp. ISBN 3- 631-44952-6 DM 98,-.
Reviewed by Hannah Amit-Kochavi
Table of contents
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary definition of 'anthology' as "a collection of selected literary pieces" is derived from an ancient Greek term meaning "flower gathering" (Webster 1990: 90). Helga Essmann's meticulous study, based on a Ph.D. thesis submitted to Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany, goes beyond this and other definitions in a twofold attempt—to provide a general theoretical model of translation anthologies, and to apply it to a particular corpus. The aims of the study, as stated in the introduction, are "First ... to try and make a contribution to anthology research and thus, perhaps, stimulate others to the study of this form of publication. Second, it is a reception study dealing with the reception of American verse within the German language realm in the years 1920-1960" (p. 15). [All English translations of quotations from Essmann's German are mine. H.A.-K.] The study is accordingly divided into two parts: The first is a theoretical model offering a typology of (translation) anthologies, subdivided into thematic and literary ones; the second applies this model to a particular corpus. Part I is accordingly called "The Corpus, German Language Anthologies Including American Verse, 1920-1960", whereas Part II is called "An Evaluation—American Verse and German Language Anthologies, 1920- 1960". The reversed order of "German Language Anthologies" and "American Verse" in the titles may have been intended to stress the different weight given in each to source texts and culture vs. target texts and culture, but this distinction is not made clear in the actual discussion.