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On Translation

Franzen on Kraus: Footnote 48

September 5, 2013 | by

Oskar Kokoschka's 1925 portrait of Karl Kraus. Oil on canvas, 65 x 100 cm, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.

Oskar Kokoschka’s 1925 portrait of Karl Kraus. Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.

This week, to celebrate the launch of our Fall issue, we will preview a few of our favorite footnotes from “Against Heine,” Jonathan Franzen’s translation of the Austrian writer Karl Kraus. Click here to get your subscription now!

And Heine had a talent for being embraced by young souls and thus associated with young experiences.48 

(p. 210)

48 J. D. Salinger might be an example of an American writer whose reputation has similarly benefitted from being read in people’s youth. But consider here, too, the periodic arguments from Bob Dylan fans that Dylan deserves the Nobel Prize in Literature.




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  1. Kevin Kelly | September 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I’ve had this argument with many of my elders over the decades especially my mother. They shake their heads and look at me as though I’m misguided, they may be right. The works of Philip Larkin, W.B.Yeats, Frost, Sandburg and others I know nothing about show me I’m mistaken. But the emotion of association with my youth is very strong. Who among us has reached as many people as Dylan? It’s not because he has a great singing voice. His songs are sometimes like screenplays. I vote yes.

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