Beyond Babel: A Handbook for Biblical Hebrew and Related Languages

Steven L. McKenzie, John Kaltner
Brill, 2002 - 241 Seiten
Examines the impact of translation on the reception and perception of the Holocaust, and charts what is gained and lost in the process of "revisioning" the past and "re-defining old vocabulary". Primo Levi, the focus of this project, translated during his entire life. Moreover, his tireless effort to construct a sturdy linguistic bridge from the "univers concentrationnaire" to us can be described as a multi-faceted act of translation. This study seeks to measure the effects of translation on the evolution of Holocaust representations from first generation eyewitness accounts to two controversial fictional works created by non-survivors: Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful" and Binjamin Wilkomirski's notorious faux-memoir "Fragments". Neither Benigni nor Wilkomirski fit the commonly understood meaning of translator, but they are classified as such in that their "original" works cannot be considered autonomous; they are not independent of the literature on which they clearly rely. By imitating Levi, by elaborating on his "hidden text", by updating the story, by depicting aspects of the Holocaust previously obscured, unknown, or considered taboo, they perform an essential task of the translator, allowing the original an "afterlife" in Walter Benjamin's sense of the word.

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Über den Autor (2002)

John Kaltner, Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible (1993), Drew University, is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Steven L McKenzie, Th.D. (1983), Harvard University, is Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Rhodes College.

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