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Understanding Lou Andreas-Salome through the process of translation: A case study

Svetlana Pashkevich, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study examines translation as a process. Here I suggest the existence of four necessary stages for the translation of literary prose. The first proposed stage is acquainting oneself with the theoretical issues raised by the theory of language and translation in order to foresee possible problematic stumbling blocks and familiarize oneself with available solutions. An overview of translation theories is presented as the first step toward accomplishing the task at hand. I begin the analysis by attempting to give a definition to translation and distinguish it from other cognitive processes where transference of meaning takes place. Then, basing the discussion on George Steiner's chronological division of translation theories, I present an overview of several writings by philosophers, writers, and translators on the value and complexity of translation. ^ The second stage of translation is acquainting oneself with the personality and general philosophy of the author in order to identify important accents and undercurrent concerns in the original text. In this chapter, I provide an overview of Lou Andreas-Salomé's biography and bibliography. I attempt to establish a connection between issues discussed in her personal diaries, fiction, as well as in her theoretical writings with the translated text—a short novel Fenitschka, published in 1898. ^ The third stage is a dissecting analysis of the text in the light of the author's general theses. In this stage I provide an in-depth analysis of Salomé's novel. ^ The fourth stage is the analysis of existing translations. This stage is necessary in order to examine possible solutions and prevent inaccuracies. Here I analyze Dorothee Einstein-Krahn's translation and a partial translation by Biddy Martin found in her comprehensive biography of Lou Andreas-Salomé, Woman and Modernity: The (Life)Styles of Lou Andreas-Salomé. ^ My own translation of Lou Andreas-Salomé's novel Fenitschka is presented in the Appendix as a part of this study. However, the main concern of this dissertation is to define the process of translation rather than the end-product. ^

Subject Area

Language, Modern|Literature, Germanic

Recommended Citation

Pashkevich, Svetlana, "Understanding Lou Andreas-Salome through the process of translation: A case study" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3070133.