“The movement of auto-translation, the drive to translate (Trieb zur Überseztung—to use Novalis’s term) issues, springs up, not from the translator but from this untranslated or this imperfectly translated, which endlessly demands translation.”
Jean Laplanche (trans. Martin Stanton)
German <> English
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Woyzeck – Georg Büchner
A new, performance ready translation of Büchner’s unfinished play. Using various sources including Herzog’s 1979 film and Büchner’s original handwritten drafts, the old colloquial German is brought into modern English and adaptable to multiple settings.
WOYZECK: Everything is so strangely quiet. It makes you want to stop breathing. (Beat) Andres!
WOYZECK: Say something! (Looks behind him) Andres, the light! There are flames over the city! A fire is traveling through the heavens, a roar like trumpets! It’s coming closer! Go! Don’t look behind you! (Wrenches ANDRES into the bushes)
ANDRES: (After a pause) Woyzeck, can you still hear it?
WOYZECK: Quiet, everything’s quiet, as if the world were dead.
The House of Sicknesses – Unica Zürn
Bringing Zürn’s novella over to English while preserving the intensity, the personally relevant, the language of the body. Zürn is one of the most intriguing figures in Germanophone literature, with works spanning such themes as gender-identity, mental illness, experiences of German civilians during WW2, and Surrealism.
You’re not allowed to go in every room. Either they’re too pretty, and if you have to leave them again then the rest of your life will be spent yearning to return – or they are too evil, and the memory of them will hold fast like grime. Before I came to the House of Sicknesses I was in a very nice room. When it came for me to leave, I would have clung to the chair in order not to go. It was the exact room in which I belonged. I knew that there and only there could my best abilities be freed. But no one seemed to care. I had to go like before, and it was hard to resist screaming and crying as they took me away.