Mind style and visibility in translation – A stylistically aware translation of Judith Hermann’s short story Rote Koralle
This project was created out of three things: a deep affection for the literature of Judith Hermann, curiosity of how her work has been translated into English, and a strong interest in pursuing my own translation of one of her texts. But before I go on any further, I need to make one thing very clear: there is nothing wrong with the existing translation of Hermann’s 1998 debut, Sommerhaus, später, out of which I have chosen the opening story as the subject matter of this essay. On the contrary: the existing translation is coherent, reads fluently, and was honoured with the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize in 2003 as “an excellent transposition of the German work, which resulted in an impressive and rhythmically strong English text (…), captured the atmosphere of the original and admirably recreated the tone and language pulse of the German short stories.”1 And so, when I say a strong interest in pursuing my own translation, I do not mean this in any way that suggests the existing translation is faulty and needs re-doing. Rather, the objective behind this project was to employ a different translation strategy in order to carry over essential aspects of Hermann’s text.