Praise for Thomas Mann in English – now in paperback!

By | September 27, 2016

This week, the Bloomsbury Literary Studies team is heading to the annual conference of the German Studies Association. We’re excited to showcase sixteen volumes from New Directions in German Studies, our fantastic series that uses new perspectives and methodologies to reframe aspects of the discipline and shed light on underrepresented areas of study. We’re especially happy to now offer a paperback edition of one of our most widely acclaimed volumes, David Horton’s Thomas Mann in English. The praise this book has garnered speaks to both the incredible value of Horton’s book and the innovative nature of our series. Check out some of the reviews below:

“Horton has made a major contribution to the field. Henceforth anyone who wants to comment on translation of Mann must first read and digest this book.”
Modern Language Review

“David Horton’s Thomas Mann in English is a book that, had the normal publishing logic triumphed, would never have been published. It’s a single-author study of a non-Anglophone writer, it focuses on only one aspect of that author’s reception history, it does not employ trendy jargon or speak to any topic that’s ripped from today’s headlines, and it does not even have a sexy title. And yet it is a supremely interesting work, not just because it sheds new light on Thomas Mann’s oeuvre, but also because it raises thought-provoking questions about the future of literary study … [It] is arguably the first absolutely rigorous, comprehensive, and even-handed treatment of a subject that has already attracted much attention in the scholarly literature, namely the impact of Mann’s first translator, Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter. … In my opinion, however, the most important service that Thomas Mann in English provides to German Studies has nothing to do with translation studies per se. It concerns, rather, David Horton’s approach to reading. Over the past few years, literary criticism has been riven by serious methodological disputes, as advocates of computer-assisted ‘distant reading’ strategies have done battle with more hermeneutically oriented scholars and sociologically informed ‘surface reading’ approaches have begun to displace the psychoanalytic depth model pioneered by Fredric Jameson in The Political Unconscious (1982). But Horton moves easily among all these different strategies, treating them not as secular gospel, but simply as tools by which to better dissect his chosen texts. … Any reader willing to read for the larger picture will walk away with hard evidence that literary study, contrary to its frequently expressed contemporary malaise, is actually more alive and methodologically vibrant than ever. This book is an impressive achievement, and fully lives up to the claim of providing new directions for its discipline.”
Comparative Literature Studies

“The subject of this excellent and interesting book is translatability … Impeccably researched and with excellent use of sources, this book is written with exemplary clarity … This book’s scholarship, clarity, wealth of detail, and insight into translating one of the most difficult of authors should give all translators pause. It deals with important and knotty problems that must be confronted.”
Translation Review

“Horton's archival research unearthed much little-known information about the remarkable triangle of Mann, Lowe-Porter, and Knopf … Highly Recommended”

Thomas Mann in English makes us aware of the daunting task that Mann’s translators face when approaching his work, and gives us a new appreciation for their creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems … [A] book that not only offers meticulously close and sensitive readings of Thomas Mann and his translators, but also serves as a model for future studies of translations.”
Translation and Literature

“Horton’s subject is thus an important one. He approaches it with great expertise in the fields of translation studies and cross-linguistic and intercultural transfer. His analysis is grounded not only theoretically, but also in a thorough knowledge of Mann’s works. Anyone interested in Mann and the literary and linguistic aspects of the transformation a text undergoes in the process of translation will profit from this meticulously argued study.”
Jens Rieckmann, Emeritus Professor of German, University of California, Irvine, USA

“David Horton's Thomas Mann in English is a sophisticated and well-researched attempt to pierce the film of ignorance and commonplaces surrounding the field of literary translation, in the context of a specific author whose works became classics thanks largely to the popularity of their translations into English … Taken together, Horton's book provides an excellent introduction for the uninitiated to the field of practical translation studies … For translators, Horton points out many potential minefields, and illustrates a number of approaches translators have taken to sidestepping them; and students of Thomas Mann will enjoy the discussion of Mann's years in America, and his partnership with his American publisher in a very deliberate and ultimately successful quest to become one of the signal voices of his time.”

“Horton’s clearly written, well-researched study is an important contribution both to the fields of literary translation studies and Thomas Mann scholarship. Especially those interested in the intersection of linguistic and literary analysis and in the psychology of literary reception will find this in-depth study of Mann’s English translations thought-provoking. The volume is well-edited with an extensive index and scholarly bibliography and will attract experienced scholars and those new to translation studies equally.”

“Horton is a great scholarly stylist, and his erudite and deeply theoretically grounded book is a pleasure to read. It is also enormously informative, adding to our knowledge of Mann’s manifestations in English as well as to our acquaintance with the latest thinking within the field of contemporary translation studies.”
Pacific Coast Philology

“This study not only provides a history of the translations and editions of Mann's works in English, but also offers an analysis of the stylistic and intercultural aspects of Lowe-Porter's versions … Written with genuine expertise, Horton's book has closed a serious gap in the secondary literature.”

“Horton’s study shows the merits of descriptive translation studies. The sustained close readings make it a valuable resource for anyone interested in the specific stylistic qualities of Mann’s work … It is to be hoped that these close readings will assist readers in articulating their own responses to Mann’s work.”
Orbis Litterarum 

“This volume will not only be of considerable interest to anyone involved with Mann and his reception, but also to all those engaged in the translation of German literature.”
The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 


Thomas MannIf you’re heading to GSA, stop by our booth September 29th through October 2nd to pick up your copy of Thomas Mann in English and browse the rest of New Directions in German Studies. We hope to see you there!

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