Feb 16 2009

Student Projects

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Here is an example of the best work German students at Pomona can do. The situation is this: one of my graduating seniors, David McCormick, as part of his graduation project, translated into English the six short stories by Erich Maria Remarque that appeared under the title Der Feind (The Enemy), together with Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) as a Kiepenheuer & Witsch paperback (#916) in 2005 in German and in Germany.

David started his translation under the assumption that he was working from the German originals of these intriguing short texts; but our research soon showed that the Kiepenheuer & Witsch texts were in fact a translation back into German (done by Thomas Schneider) of the English first publication of these stories, which appeared in 1930 and 1931 in Collier’s in the USA, where Remarque was living at the time. It seems that these Collier’s texts are now the “originals,” namely the earliest known publications of Remarque’s stories – whose German originals apparently have been lost.

What David produced, therefore, is a modernized English version of the 1930/31 Wheen translation.

David has since obtained copyright. The stories are:

Josef’s Wife

Karl’s Return

Silence at Verdun

Story of Annette’s Love

Strange Fate of Johann Bartok

The Enemy

Another student, Emma Henson, undertook a translation of Christian Kracht’s cult-novel, Faserland from 1995. However, unlike David, she does not have the rights and therefore we can only just give you a snippet of her work.

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