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Kulturtransfer und Nachdichtung

Über Autoren des belgischen Symbolismus und ihre Beziehung zur deutschen Literatur

Hubert Roland


Pages 45 - 62



This essay addresses the literary translation/appropriation of poetry as an act of cultural transfer by analyzing Belgo-German case studies: Belgian Symbolist Maurice Maeterlinck’s translation of both Novalis’ fragments and Heinrich Heine’s poem ‘Der arme Peter’, and the young German Expressionist Paul Zech’s translation of Emile Verhaeren’s poetry volume ‘Les Blés mouvants’. By using specific writing practices that generate “creative misunderstandings” the translated poets are merged into the style and poetics of their literary translators. Maeterlinck fathomed Novalis’ affinities with emerging Symbolism, whereas Zech’s creative poetic translations (Nachdichtungen) turned Verhaeren into a precursor of Expressionism. Thus literary translation as cultural transfer both reinforces and puts into perspective the homogeneity of linguistic-national literary fields.

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