Till Dembeck

Literaturwissenschaft in Forschung und Lehre

Oberflächenübersetzung

Oberflächenübersetzung: The Poetics and Cultural Politics of Homophonic Translation (2015)

This article reassesses the poetics of homophonic translation in order to come to terms with its (culture-)political effects. In a close reading of poems by Ernst Jandl and Oskar Pastior, Dembeck shows that these authors’ homophonic translations are by no means homogenous in the methods they apply, but rather make use of various, complex strategies of linguistic transformation simultaneously. This constant shifting between strategies enables these poets to make their texts the medium for (culture-)political movements that are, in very different ways, opposed to the presuppositions of monolingualism. Homophonic translation thus proves to be more than just a mere language game without semantic and political impact.