Publication details

Zur literarischen Zensur und Funktion von Paratexten in der Tschechoslowakei zwischen 1948-1989 am Beispiel der Rezeption von Werken von Peter Handke

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Title in English On literary censorship and the function of paratexts in Czechoslovakia between 1948-1989 using the example of the reception of works by Peter Handke


Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Description The specific overcoming of boundaries, which will be discussed in the following article, is not to be located in the area of immanent text analysis, but rather in the “zone indécise entre le dedans et le dehors” (Genette), i.e. at the level of the paratexts. This analysis expands existing research on the reception of German literature in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. Using a case study of the translations of Handke's texts, the reception process of German literature in Czechoslovakia is examined and at the same time a more general analysis of the specific function of paratexts in the totalitarian regime is presented. From a reception studies perspective, the Czechoslovak reception of German literature was problematic from the start due to the cultural and political orientation in communist and socialist Czechoslovakia. For the authors of the West German literary group Group 47, things were even more complicated because, from the perspective of socialist censorship, additional ideological obstacles could be identified. It can be assumed that Czechoslovakian editions of the works of members of Group 47 and thus also of Peter Handke are suitable material for such case studies, which identify and describe in more detail general strategies of publishers in an environment characterized by ideologically motivated censorship and political restrictions on freedom of expression want. The aim of the present article is to describe the history of the reception of Handke's texts, to present an overview of the paratexts, i.e. prefaces, afterwords, comments, reviews, criticisms, etc. to the Czechoslovak editions of his texts and on the basis of this analysis to find out: a) how the reception of these texts took place in the Czechoslovak literary environment between 1948 and 1989 and which development trends can be identified, b) what role did paratexts play in this reception and which strategies were chosen by their authors (translators or literary scholars), to obtain the publication of these texts, often despite the obstacles of socialist censorship.
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