Release on 2011-01-13 | by Gaby Thomson-Wohlgemuth
Books for Young People in the German Democratic Republic
Author: Gaby Thomson-Wohlgemuth
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
In this book, Gaby Thomson-Wohlgemuth explores the effects of ideology on the English-to-German translation of children’s literature under the socialist regime of the former German Democratic Republic. Giving prominence to extra-textual factors, the study undertakes a close investigation of the East German censorship machinery, showing that there was a close correlation between the socialist ideology propagated by the regime and the book selection process itself. Through an analysis of the contents of the print permit (censorship) files and the afterwords found in many books, Thomson-Wohlgemuth demonstrates that literature was re-written not only to placate the censor but also to directly guide the reader down the correct ideological path, both in the selection and interpretation of each translated text. Thomson-Wohlgemuth begins this engaging study with a concise but thorough historical background of East German children's literature, setting the context for an examination of how the state and party operated to control the development of the genre. She highlights the fact that there was multi-level censorship at work, with the Unity Party propagating certain ideological literary policies, and the publishers self-censoring when selecting suitable texts for translation and publication. This book serves as an exemplary study of how publishers collaborated with the state in all Eastern European countries, and should be of interest to historians and children’s literature scholars alike.
"German Children's and Youth Literature in Exile 1933-1950," contains biographies of 101 authors and illustrators of children's and youth literature as well as bibliographies of the books written and illustrated by them that were published in exile between 1933 and 1950. Included are authors who were born before 1918 in Germany or in areas of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, who were forced to flee and live through the Nazi dictatorship in exile. Among them were prominent authors such as Bertolt Brecht, authors of "classics" in children's and youth literature like Kurt Held ("Die rote Zora und ihre Bande"; 1941), Irmgard Keun ("Nach Mitternacht"; 1937) oder Felix Salten ("Bambi"; 1923), and also authors less known today. Each bibliography also includes the translations of the author's works into languages from all over the world. Recorded in the bibliographies are all forms and genres of children's literature: narrative literature and poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Every bibliographic entry contains a short overview of the contents, a description of the graphic techniques used for the illustrations, and if known, a commentary on the historical origins of the book, as well as information on the place where the copy of the book was examined. The handbook includes two indexes. The name index lists the names of authors, illustrators, editors, translators and designers, the private owners of the copies examined, as well as the names of other authors in exile listed in the biography. The title index lists all the books that are described in the bibliographies.