© 2019

Translating War

Literature and Memory in France and Britain from the 1940s to the 1960s


  • Provides the first sustained study of the vital role played by translation in the reception of war fiction

  • Raises significant questions about the comparative representation and cultural memory of war and its aftermath

  • Draws on new developments in translation studies and comparative literary studies to put in practice the concept of ‘reading translationally’


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Languages at War book series (PASLW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Angela Kershaw
    Pages 1-28
  3. Angela Kershaw
    Pages 29-65
  4. Angela Kershaw
    Pages 267-277
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 279-293

About this book


This book examines the role played by the international circulation of literature in constructing cultural memories of the Second World War. War writing has rarely been read from the point of view of translation even though war is by definition a multilingual event, and knowledge of the Second World War and the Holocaust is mediated through translated texts. Here, the author opens up this field of research through analysis of several important works of French war fiction and their English translations. The book examines the wartime publishing structures which facilitated literary exchanges across national borders, the strategies adopted by translators of war fiction, the relationships between translated war fiction and dominant national memories of the war, and questions of multilingualism in war writing. In doing so, it sheds new light on the political and ethical questions that arise when the trauma of war is represented in fiction and through translation. This engaging work will appeal to students and scholars of translation, cultural memory, war fiction and Holocaust writing.


cultural memory literary history translational reading Translating war Cultural transfer transcultural memory Multilingualism Second World War Holocaust Fiction French war fiction Trauma prosthetic memory History of publishing literary mobility The War Novel Fiction and National Identity French resistance cultural translation French cultural history war studies

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern LanguagesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Angela Kershaw is Senior Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. She specialises in twentieth-century French literature, with particular interests in the inter-war and Second World War periods, translation studies and gender, and has published widely on these topics.

Bibliographic information