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What’s in a foreword? On translator’s notes

Translators make decisions that have an enormous impact on how texts arrive in linguistic contexts beyond the language they were written in. Especially in literary translation, many of these decisions are related to questions of aesthetics and style. But these are also, as our macht.sprache. project is making increasingly clear, decisions with political undertow and ramifications. The translator’s note is often a moment that allows translators to communicate to their readers the considerations that went into their decision-making.

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Whose is the world in world literature? On world literature and postcolonial studies

So many texts on the subject of world literature at some point indicate Goethe’s coining of Weltliteratur in 1827 as its origin story. This is to start the conversation within a European framing. But one could choose another point of departure. For instance: In 1907, Rabindranath Tagore, an enormously respected figure of Bengali literature, was asked to give a lecture on comparative literature. He chose instead to speak on vishwa sahitya.

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Is the world creolizing?

With his faith in the beauty of cultural hybridity, Édouard Glissant became one of the most influential postcolonial theorists. In dystopian times, his philosophy of relation gives rise to hope.

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Discrimination, language, and translation tools

Many people who find their cultural activities increasingly moving into the realm of the virtual might find themselves working more and more with translation tools. Yet these tools, and the translations they offer, tend to suffer from biases embedded into their making.

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