2015 | 12 | 24 | 93-125
Article title

Česká literární moderna v časopise Aus fremden Zungen — čtyři příklady prostředkování

Title variants
Czech literary modernism in the journal Aus fremden Zungen — four examples of mediation
Languages of publication
Czech literary modernism in the journal Aus fremden Zungen — four examples of mediation The study focuses on Bronislav Wellek, Adolph Donath, Camill Hoffmann, Oskar Wiener and Otto Hauser and their translations and articles on modern Czech literature published in the German journal Aus fremden Zungen (1891–1910). This fortnightly established by Joseph Kürschner dealt exclusively with foreign literature. Its openness to all kinds of literary currents and little-known minor literatures was unique within the system of German literary journals. A comparison indicates the key role played by mediators. The primary requirement for their activity was multilingualism, and it turns out that in the case of all the figures under consideration, language did not necessarily have the nationally symbolic significance ascribed by politics, and their identity basically did not depend on their use of one language or another. The progress and success of this mediation was not just decided by the literary standard of the translation, but all five translators were concerned to improve the standard of translation, as well as to change the approach to translation in general. The choice of text and its succeeded publication was determined by the involvement of the mediators in the Czech and German literary context. Hence Bronislav Wellek focused primarily on translations and interpretations of poetry by Jaroslav Vrchlický and J. S. Machar, whom he knew personally and who also introduced him to their own literary and intellectual circles. It was thanks to Vrchlický that he printed his translations in Eduard Albert’s anthologies Poesie aus Böhmen (1893–1895). Machar was responsible for other translations, e.g. Hilbert’s drama Vina, which Hermann Bahr was to help promote in the German-language sphere. Between 1896 and 1898, Adolph Donath attempted to build up his position as mediator between the Moderní revue circle and some representatives ofViennese modernism (e.g. Karl Kraus, Peter Altenberg and Felix Rappaport). For Aus fremden Zungen he translated an impressionistic short story by Luisa Ziková Bílý květ (White Flower). In a fivepart series and an accompanying study modern Czech prose (J. Zeyer, V. Mrštík, F. X. Svoboda, J. K. Šlejhar and R. Svobodová) was presented by Camill Hoffmann and Oskar Wiener. Their mediation activities were based on direct relations with Prague Czech authors of the youngest generation, on whom Hoffmann also focused in his articles for other German journals, though in Aus fremden Zungen he was concerned with surveying the modernist work of the 1890s. Samples of Czech prose were followed on by translations from modern Czech lyric poetry (O. Březina, A. Sova, K. Hlaváček and V. Dyk) written by Otto Hauser. This polyglot and translator from numerous languages was a different kind of Viennese mediator. In contrast to Wellek and Hoffmann, Hauser was only in sporadic correspondence with Sova and Březina. His literary assessment of their poetry was based on his broad knowledge of contemporary European poetry, including minor literatures (such as Danish, Dutch and Croatian) and as such is of importance. These examples show that literary mediation is a complex rapprochement of variously defined and construed contexts, which have their reflected and unrealized limits.
  • Masarykův ústav a Archiv Akademie věd České republiky
Document Type
Publication order reference
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