26 August 2016

St Jerome and transcreation

In July 2016, theology student Lydia Lange's doctoral thesis was published in book form in German by De Gruyter.
Lange, Lydia: Die Juditfigur in der Vulgata. Eine theologische Studie zur lateinischen Bibel. Verlag De Gruyter, 2016. 456 pages, 129,95 Euro. ISBN 978-3-11-048823-4
Her supervisor was Prof. Barbara Schmitz, Head of the Chair of Old Testament Studies and Biblical-Oriental Languages at the University of Würzburg.

The University's online press release, complete with some interesting Germanisms, is entitled 

Lydia Lange (32), Faculty of Catholic Theology, 
Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany
in the library of the chair of Old Testament Studies and Biblical-Oriental Languages

"The Book of Judith is one of the more recent works of the Old Testament; it was written down for the first time about 100 b. C., in Greek"
"Jerome emphasizes Judith's chastity - but the Greek original and the other Latin translations do not mention that word at all",
Jerome may also have used a strategy that is commonly used in theater and literature up to this day: recasting an old story for the present.
The implications for theology, sacred book translation and translation tout court are considerable, to say the least.

1 comment:

  1. 'Free translation' in a sense, but I would rather say ·biased translation'. Anyway a blow to Jerome's reputation as a very careful tanslator, a standard he himself set. There's a lot of discussion these days about 'ideological' translations in translation studies; clearly they aren't only modern.


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