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  • Author: Anna Steinbachné Bobok x
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Mr Povondra’s Collage in Hungarian
Concepts of Translation and Text


Karel Čapek’s The War with the Newts combines a wide assortment of textual forms and genres to portray the assumed history of the newts in close connection with that of the human race. Newspaper articles, scientific studies, notes of drunken sailors, and other inserts form a unique collage in style as well as in layout. In the various editions of the originally 1948 Hungarian translation of the novel, the textual arrangements of the most composite part of The War with the Newts – the second book – are significantly altered compared to the Czech edition. Moreover, the introductory sentences of the inserts, the typefaces, and the stylistic differences tend to suggest that there is a different notion of text and reading underlying the Hungarian versions. Other unifying tendencies traceable in the translation, e.g. standardized language use or concepts of character identity, can be correlated with these features. As the borders of various text-types within the Czech text are reorganized and re-established in the translation, a different position of the reader and a different idea of the literary text emerge. My aim is to demonstrate the translational differences and try to account for them with an underlying concept of text and translation embedded in the Hungarian variant.

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