The Challenges of Translating Art Spiegelman’s Maus

  • Martín Urdiales-Shaw


This chapter explores the challenges in translating the voice of the survivor in Art Spiegelman’s Maus, illustrating the multiple complexities and nuances of how a Holocaust testimony may reach readerships across the world. Taking as primary reference several editions of Maus in Spanish and other Romance languages, the first section discusses the various strategies employed by translators in rendering the “inflected English” of the survivor Vladek. A second section of the article examines the implications of the deliberate non-translation of terms in Vladek’s discourse which are closely bound to the concentrationary universe, and thus, in essence, untranslatable. Ultimately, the chapter problematizes how translation is never a completely transparent process where an exact equivalence between original and target texts can be found, a notion that is particularly relevant to the Holocaust, as a transnational and trans-European event recorded by survivors, victims, witnesses and their descendants in a variety of languages, which tends to reach global readerships only through English.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martín Urdiales-Shaw
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VigoPontevedraSpain

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