Englishness in German translations of <i>Alice in Wonderland</i>

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In order to explain away the peculiarity of Alice in Wonderland to a German audience, peritexts in many translations construct nonsense, the author Dodgson/Carroll and the novel itself as particularly English phenomena. Examining forewords and afterwords and some German translations, especially two post-war translations from 1922 and 1949 with clear and distinctive Anglo-­German cultural agendas, this article will reveal a central paradox: while Englishness is evoked in these peritexts so that the familiarity of the national tropes may supposedly serve to counterbalance the strangeness of the novel, the translations themselves may, in contrast, actually neutralise or domesticate this purported Englishness. Combining imagology and translation studies, this analysis reveals strangely hybrid translations which peritextually proclaim one thing but in practice do another.


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