Events Series
© Renate von Mangoldt © Renate von Mangoldt

“Nowadays there’s a shortfall of proletariat” – Translating "The Foundation Pit". Gabriele Leupold in Conversation with Christiane Körner

Platonov Readings I

Reading in Russian: Eugene Ostashevsky

Anyone who reads Platonov in the original is un­able to withstand the appeal of this unusual literary idiom: it is a highly complex, innovative, almost “foreign” sounding Russian, an amalgam of the speech of ordinary people, party jargon and propaganda and a language enriched with philosophical and religious terms. It is characterised by the intertwining of the speech of the narrator and the figures. An unusual syntax, irregular grammar, a skewed lexis – Platonov reshapes the language and turns it into an instrument of discovery.
Any translation must involve intensive philological research and the linguistic reper­toire of German literature since the expressionist period. Many works throw a new light onto the texts, be it the analysis of Platonov’s grammatical boldness or the “compaction” as a peculiarity of his narration. Christiane Körner, translator and publicist, talks to her colleague about the daring achievement of rendering such a work into German.