Susanne Hagemann

Sheena Blackhall and Dorothea Grünzweig: ″Lot′s Wife″ Translated into Swabian

In this paper, I will examine the translation of a poem by Sheena Blackhall, written in North-East Scots, into a regional German dialect. My approach, based on polysystem theory as developed by Itamar Even-Zohar, will be descriptive and target-oriented. I will attempt to answer the question of what position Dorothea Grünzweig′s translation of “Lot’s Wife” occupies within the target literary polysystem. Generally speaking, much of the literature originally written in Swabian in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has tended to draw on what Even-Zohar calls a conservative repertoire. By contrast, translations into Swabian more frequently exemplify Even-Zohar’s dictum that translated literature can fulfil an innovatory function. It could also be argued that they are central to the target polysystem in terms of language development. As far as Grünzweig’s contribution to Swabian literature is concerned, her translation of “Lot’s Wife” can be shown to have both a conservative and an innovative dimension.

Susanne Hagemann, University of Mainz/Germersheim, Germany