I am currently collaborating with Dr Madeleine Bieg to translate German scholarship on the reception of Shakespeare. Our current piece concerns the “controversial” translations of Hans Rothe in the twentieth century. This piece will be completed and submitted for publication by early 2017.
Meanwhile, Dr Birgit Oehle and I have been investigating Dorothea Tieck’s nineteenth-century translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Tieck was the daughter of Ludwig Tieck, who, with August Schlegel, was among the most prominent of German translators of Shakespeare. Hers were the first full German translation of all 154 sonnets; the previous translator of the sonnets, Karl Lachmann, had omitted sonnets 134, 135 and 151 on the grounds that they were untranslatable (in relation to the two former) and obscene (in reference to the latter).
We may conduct our analysis of these pieces using Jessica Trevitt’s “triangulated” methodology, which attempts to deconstruct the “source-target” binary of mainstream translation studies by identifying other cultural forces that impact on translations processes. We may propose, for example, that the key cultural relationship of these translations was not between the source-English and target-German, but rather Germany’s reaction against French classicis, which prompted an embrace of the Germanic naturalism of Shakespeare.