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Spotlight on International Scholarship (1)

This is the first of a series of posts offering a spotlight on some recent contributions to international scholarship on L.M. Montgomery’s life, work, and legacy, in languages other than English.

Anne på svenska: Hur tidsanda och produktionsvillkor påverkat huvudpersonens karaktärsdrag i svenska översättningar och adaptioner av Anne of Green Gables

English Title: Anne in Swedish: How the Spirit of the Age and Production Terms Influence the Protagonist’s Character Traits in Swedish Translations and Adaptations of Anne of Green Gables

Author: Anna Vogel

Language: Swedish

Details: Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research 44 (2021).

Abstract: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (1908) has received much academic interest. Drawing on related research on the novel and its Swedish editions, my article investigates how the variation in the Swedish versions influences the characterization of Anne 1909–2018. My study acknowledges the feminist view within translation studies as expressed by Sherry Simon, and uses Norman Fairclough’s linguistic model for contextualization. The primary material consists of Montgomery’s original text, the translations and adaptations by Karin Jensen, Aslög Davidson, Margareta Sjögren-Olsson, and Christina Westman as well as correspondence between the publishing houses and translators. Further, I have interviewed Westman and corresponded with her publisher. The texts are analysed regarding omissions and additions. On a micro-level, all active verbs where Anne is the grammatical subject are analysed. My results show that all editions give prominence to Anne’s academic ambition. A major finding is that the 1941 and 1962 versions increase Anne’s ambition by using more active verbs and stronger expressions. Westman’s 2018 edition, however, is a subtle revision of the first Swedish translation, with the result that Anne’s ambition is diminished again. Despite girls and women having gained more freedom over the last 100 years, the latest edition thereby interrupts the tendency to stress Anne’s ambition. This is understood as a result of clashing discursive and social norms. On the other hand, the emphasis on Anne’s ambition in the 1941 and 1962 editions comes with a cost of religious, moral, intellectual, and emotional aspects, creating a one-dimensional Anne.