In Divergent Tongues and Dialects

Alan Rosen

in The Wonder of Their Voices

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395129
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866588 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Oral History Series

In Divergent Tongues and Dialects

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This chapter considers the interview project's multilingual dimension, emphasizing the significance of the interview languages as well as the shifts of languages within the interviews as “evidence of trauma.” Yet this quest for evidence came up against the centrality of audience, moving Boder to devise a deliberately “awkward” English translation as one mode of compromise. A second mode was the process of translation itself, whereby Boder brought aboard at a crucial juncture survivor Bernard Wolf, whose experience of ghettos and camps gave an insider's view. A psychologist by training, Boder nonetheless turned to literature as the rubric under which the interviews should be presented. The chapter further examines Boder's embrace of the categories and models of literary critics to analyze the interviews, a form of what he called, following Robert Penn Warren, “experimental reading.” Boder's literary analysis of one interview, that of Anna Kovitzka, reveals how he carried out this “reading.” This in turn guides inquiry into the way in which Boder thought of the interviews as literature, and what it meant for DP interviews to be the source of “a new genre of world literature”.

Keywords: translation; Robert Penn Warren; experimental reading; evidence of trauma; Bernard Wolf; interviews as literature; Anna Kovitzka

Chapter.  11310 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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