Author: Ernest De Clerck
In translation studies, the idea of the ‘original’ is often traced back to Romantic conceptions of art. This idea is congruous with the perception of the nineteenth-century British literary system as insular and self-sufficient. Yet, the etymology of the word ‘original’ reveals a profound ambivalence between being true to the origin and being new, true to nothing but itself. Similarly, in one of the Late-Romantic period’s most popular literary magazines Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, translation itself reveals an ambivalent if not paradoxical relationship to the ‘original’. While maintaining a nationalist agenda, Blackwood’s was proud to present many translations of foreign literature, most significantly German. The conservative Blackwoodians translated other cultures faithful not to aesthetic or ethical principles but to the perceived ‘national identity’ of the text’s origins. A closer look at the presentation of translations in Blackwood’s complicates not only our understanding of translation in periodicals but also of nationalist discourses in the Romantic period. It can help us to debunk persistent myths of national originality and contribute to the study of British Romanticism in a European transnational context.
How to Cite: De Clerck, E. (2022) “Het origineel ontrouw: vertaling en de constructie van nationale cultuur in de ‘Horae Germanicae’ van Blackwood’s”, Handelingen - Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse maatschappij voor taal- en letterkunde en geschiedenis. 74(0). doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/kzm.85255