Translating Hedwig Dohm

  • Author / Creator
    Guenther, Eva J
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Germanic Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Mitterbauer, Helga (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
    • Wilson, Jean (Arts & Science, McMaster University)
    • Herrmann, Elisabeth (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
    • Whitinger, Raleigh (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
    • Luhmann, Susanne (Women's and Gender Studies)