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LeCTIS Seminar Series Semester Two: The Powerful Voice of the Silent Details in the Translational Stylistics Analysis of Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking

Posted by av128 at Mar 11, 2021 11:19 AM |
Margrethe Stuttaford - University of Leicester


In this seminar, I shall consider the representation and reception of Astrid Lindgren’s first Pippi Longstocking book through its initial translations into English and German. I shall draw on my research for my PhD and demonstrate my findings through specific examples. The main corpus of my research consists of the British translation (1954), the West German translation (1949) and the East German version (1975) of the Swedish source text (1945). These initial translations are compared with the early US translation (1950) as well as later retranslations into English (2007) and a reedition into German (2007). The project’s methodology builds on Malmkjær’s Translational Stylistics, which aims at analysing the impact of stylistic choices on processes of meaning-making in translation. The methodology is used in combination with a comparative focus on children’s literature in various cultures and on sociological frameworks to analyse the translation of Pippi Longstocking into selected target cultures. The analysis interprets the various types of changes and shifts used in the respective translations and considers both their impact on the meaning of the text and their link with literary, cultural and translational contexts and norms. The case of Pippi Longstocking is particularly relevant within this context as Lindgren’s character has been considered as unusual and norm-breaking in the context of children’s literature. I shall demonstrate and discuss the adjustments made in the translations and the way in which these have affected the representation and reception of Pippi.


Margrethe Stuttaford is a Danish native speaker with a keen interest in languages. She teaches German and French at a Secondary school in Devon and also works as a freelance translator and proof-reader. She is awaiting the outcome of her PhD revisions from the University of Leicester. Margrethe completed her MA in Translation Studies in 2012 from the University of Exeter where she followed the literary translation module. She has since set up her own translation company, Limelight Languages, where she translates from German and English to Danish.

Margrethe’s PhD research has cast new light on norms in the translations of children’s literature; in particular with regard to evolution of norms within children’s literature and it has demonstrated through a diachronic perspective how such norms have a tendency to shift in accordance with target norms.

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