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Publication Date
August 2016
Page Count
336 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9


New Maps for Germanic Literatures
Edited by Bethany Wiggin and Catriona MacLeod

The term "Untranslatables" is rooted in two explorations of translation written originally in German: Walter Benjamin's now ubiquitous "The Task of the Translator" and Goethe's extensive notes to his "tradaptation" of mystical Persian poetry. The essays collected in Un/Translatables unite two inescapable interventions in contemporary translation discourses: the concept of "Untranslatables" as points of productive resistance, and the Germanic tradition as the primary dialogue partner for translation studies. The essays collected in the volume pursue the critical itineraries that would result if "Untranslatables," as discussed in Barbara Cassin's Dictionary of Untranslatables, were returned, productively estranged, to their original German context. Thus, these essays explore Untranslatables across Germanic literatures—German, Yiddish, Dutch, and Afrikaans—and follow trajectories into Hebrew, Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, English, and Scots.
About the Author

BETHANY WIGGIN is an associate professor and graduate chair of German at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities.

CATRIONA MacLEOD is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in German at the University of Pennsylvania.


“In this new collection, Wiggin and MacLeod take on the critical issues at stake where the fields of translation, world history and literature confront each other, and situate them in engaging and provocative ways.” — Bella Brodzki, author of Can These Bones Live?: Translation, Survival, and Cultural Memory

“This fascinating volume is a welcome addition to the current offerings in cross-cultural studies and translation theory in the German context. There are some real jewels in this collection.” — Katherine Mary Faull, editor of Translation and Culture and Anthropology and the German Enlightenment: Perspectives on Humanity

“Elegant and lyrical… Throughout the collection, translation, code-switching, retranslation, and multilingualism are understood as one mutually co-constructive ?eld of historical practices that houses an untapped panoply of concepts for 21st-century German Studies, for Comparative Literature, and for multimodal, multidirectional translation practice itself.” --Monatshefte