Russell West-Pavlov

German as Contact Zone

This book suggests that linguistic translation is one minute province of an immense process of creative activity that constitutes the world as an ongoing dynamism of unceasing transformation. Building upon the speculative quantum gravity theory, which provides a narrative of the push-pull dynamics of transformative translation from the very smallest scales of reality to the very greatest, this book argues that the so-called translative turn of the 1990s was correct in positing translation as a paradigmatic concept of transformation. More radically, the book stages a provocative provincialization of linguistic translation, so that literary translation in particular is shown to display a remarkable awareness of its own participation in a larger creative contact zone. As a result, the German language, literary translations in and out of German, and the German-language classroom, can be understood respectively as quantum contact zones.

Russell West-Pavlov is Professor of Anglophone Literatures at the University of Tübingen and Research Associate at the University of Pretoria.
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