Forming reception behind the Iron Curtain. Norwegian literature in Czech translations 1945–1968.



Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Translations contribute to shaping the cultural memory of the national literature abroad. While the choice of titles which get to be translated is contingent on many factors; in the communist Czechoslovakia, this selection had to meet yet another criterion which deformed the natural literary development – censorship. The paper focuses on Norwegian literature which was introduced into Czech language between 1945 and 1968. Norwegian literature had already had a strong position on the Czechoslovak literary market since the end of the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century thanks to several publishing houses, translators, and the introduction of the Nobel Prize in literature. This tradition was first interrupted by the WWII and shortly after again by the communist coup in 1948. Even though the restrictions were loosening later, and censorship was officially lifted, the Soviet intervention in 1968 installed the restrictions again. The aim is to present and analyze the image of Norwegian literature in the Czech cultural memory as it was formed by the cultural policies of totalitarian Czechoslovakia. Works by more than 30 Norwegian authors were translated into Czech in the given period. I would like to show and explain what kind of literature could enter the Czech bookshops and libraries. The focus often shifted to a specific literary genre (for example, fairy tales or non-fiction literature), republishing the earlier works of the Norwegian canon, or works by authors whose work was translated into Czech although they were marginalized in Norway and did not make it into the national canon.
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