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Translating Hedwig Dohm Open Access


Other title
Hedwig Dohm
Benjamin Heiling
Der Frauen Natur und Recht
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Guenther, Eva J
Supervisor and department
Whitinger, Raleigh (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Wilson, Jean (Arts & Science, McMaster University)
Whitinger, Raleigh (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Herrmann, Elisabeth (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Luhmann, Susanne (Women's and Gender Studies)
Mitterbauer, Helga (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Germanic Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Hedwig Dohm was an important German woman writer and feminist at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. For a long time, she was recognized mainly for being Katia Mann’s – wife of the famous German author Thomas Mann – grandmother. However, her own work has been experiencing a renewed interest over the past fifteen to twenty years; one indication of this is the quite recent translation of her 1894 novella Werde, die du bist including the essay “Die alte Frau” (Become who you are, 2006, including the essay “The old woman”). This dissertation contributes to the still limited corpus of Dohm’s work available in English. I am offering a translation of Dohm’s 1876 political essay Der Frauen Natur und Recht (Women’s Nature and Right), of which a second revised and extended edition was translated into English in 1896. In addition I am offering the first translation of an as yet untranslated novella entitled Benjamin Heiling. The two translations show that older texts by authors such as Dohm can be adequately translated when following the tenets of the German tradition of translation, which propagates the foreignization rather than the domestication of translations, in combination with some of the less radical principles of feminist translation. Applying this methodology allows translators to retain feminist ideas present in the original, which otherwise may be lost in a translation. The appendix of this dissertation provides a thorough, yet uncommented, comparison of the two German editions of Der Frauen Natur und Recht (first edition 1876, second edition 1893), the translation of the second German edition into English under the title Women’s Nature and Privilege (1896), and my own translation of the first German edition, entitled Women’s Nature and Right. In addition to discussing the difficulties found in the first translation, there is also a brief explanation on the publication history of Dohm’s Der Frauen Natur und Recht.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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