Special Issue

Translation: Poetics, Negotiation, Tradaptation

This spe­cial issue of In geveb, edit­ed by Olaf Ter­pitz and Mar­i­anne Windsperg­er, emerges out of the Feb­ru­ary 2017 EAJS Lab­o­ra­to­ry on Yid­dish Lan­guage and Cul­ture. A Relay Sta­tion of Moder­ni­ty and Lieu de Mémoire of Post­moder­ni­ty,” at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vienna.The con­tri­bu­tions of this spe­cial issue show­case the per­for­ma­tive dimen­sion of trans­la­tion: Musi­cians and poets (when read­ing their texts) draw atten­tion to the inter­ac­tions between lan­guages, pho­net­ic expe­ri­ences, rhythm, rhyme, and the pro­duc­tive use of mis­un­der­stand­ings. Crit­i­cal reflec­tions on their own trans­la­tions, and the role per­formed by agents such as edi­tors (e.g. of selec­tion and design), engen­der the ques­tion of what it meant his­tor­i­cal­ly and what it means today to be a writer or read­er in mul­ti­lin­gual settings.


Blog posts and Interviews



Introduction: Translation - Poetics, Negotiation, Tradaptation; A Special Issue of In geveb on Translation

Olaf Terpitz and Marianne Windsperger

The contributions of this special issue showcase the performative dimension of translation: Musicians and poets (when reading their texts) draw attention to the interactions between languages, phonetic experiences, rhythm, rhyme, and the productive use of misunderstandings. Critical reflections on their own translations, and the role performed by agents such as editors (e.g. of selection and design), engender the question of what it meant historically and what it means today to be a writer or reader in multilingual settings.


Literarishe reveransn”: Yiddish Translation as Negotiation

Augusta Costiuc Radosav

Radosav discusses her experiences as a translator of Yiddish poetry into Romanian and her evaluation of certain translations from other languages into Romanian or from Romanian into Yiddish. The essay outlines a strategy of “translation-recreation,” in which the translator balances a sense of fidelity to the source text with the attempt to creatively reproduce its internal mechanism.


Louis Zukofsky: Building a Poetics of Translation

Sarah Ponichtera

How the poet Louis Zukofsky constructed his English-language American modernism by citing, translating, and adapting the Yiddish poetry of Yehoash.


Translation, Cosmopolitanism and the Resilience of Yiddish: Wischnitzer’s Milgroym as a Pathway Towards the Global Museum

Susanne Marten-Finnis

Reading Rachel Wischnitzer’s editorial vision for the journal Milgroym as a “global museum.”

Blog posts and Interviews


Between Translation and Tradaptation: An Interview with Daniel Kahn, Berlin, January 2017

Marianne Windsperger

Maranne Windsperger interviews punkfolk artist Daniel Kahn about his approaches to transadaptation and translation.


On Not Understanding: Performing Yiddish Song Today

Benjy Fox-Rosen

As a composer and performer of Yiddish music, Rosen confronts the fact that most members of my audience do not understand the language of the texts he performs. Yet, while music does not communicate information in the same way as language, it can lead listeners towards specific associations and meanings. There are multiple instances in which translation, imagined or guided, takes place during a musical performance and the composer and performer mediates these processes.