Englishness in German translations of Alice in Wonderland

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


In order to explain away the peculiarity of Alice in Wonderland to a German audience, peritexts in many translations construct nonsense, the author Dodgson/Carroll and the novel itself as particularly English phenomena. Examining forewords and afterwords and some German translations, especially two post-war translations from 1922 and 1949 with clear and distinctive Anglo-German cultural agendas, this article will reveal a central paradox: while Englishness is evoked in these peritexts so that the familiarity of the national tropes may supposedly serve to counterbalance the strangeness of the novel, the translations themselves may, in contrast, actually neutralise or domesticate this purported Englishness. Combining imagology and translation studies, this analysis reveals strangely hybrid translations which peritextually proclaim one thing but in practice do another.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterconnecting Translation Studies and Imagology
EditorsLuc van Doorslaer, Peter Flynn, Joep Leerssen
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Philadelphia
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication date2016
ISBN (print)9789027258601
ISBN (electronic)9789027267719
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Literature studies - Translation Studies, Imagology, paratexts, nonsense
  • English - Englishness, narrator of the translation
  • Englishness, Imagology, Narrator of the translation, Nonsense, Paratexts, Translation studies