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Untangling Kafka's Knotty Texts: The Translator's Prerogative?

Kafka and Marjorie E. Rhine
Monatshefte
Vol. 81, No. 4 (Winter, 1989), pp. 447-458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30166262
Page Count: 12
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Untangling Kafka's Knotty Texts: The Translator's Prerogative?
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Abstract

A comparison of Kafka's short pieces "Entlarvung eines Bauernfängers," Entschlüsse," "Zerstreutes Hinausschaun" and "Die Vorüberlaufenden" with their English language counterparts reveals that inconsistencies in vocabulary selection markedly affect the reception of these texts in English. Narrative structure is altered by a failure to maintain repetitive emphases, and the narrator/reader relationship is complicated through a disregard for consistent translation of personal pronouns. These examples suggest that not only should more Kafka texts be available in bilingual editions but that the publication of definitive critical editions of Kafka's works in translation should be a high priority. (MER)

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