The purpose of this unique discussion-based course is twofold: one, it provides you with regular practice in the skill of translating cultural texts from German into English, thus activating, improving and enriching your knowledge and command of the English language and culture; and two, it introduces you to, and enables you to discuss novels by six outstanding, sometimes neglected, writers.
Were a mastery of English grammar and lexis the key to understanding, the computer would be king, while the world of English literature, a world of emotions: humour, sadness, passion, striving, seeking and finding, would be reduced to an academic, esoteric luxury.
In the same vein, literary translation, so much more than a mechanical exercise, is, above all, a question of interpretation, appropriate register, correct degree of formality, and perhaps the most difficult thing of all, the appropriate use of English idiom. Were this not so, artificial intelligence would suffice.
The English translation and literature course gives us the opportunity both to discuss and translate, into English, cultural texts; and read and discuss novels and short stories by 20th and 21st Century writers. Each academic year, the course has a new literary theme.