Philippe NOBLE (Ambassade de France, La Haye, Pays-Bas)
Translating Etty Hillesum: a singular endeavour
2003, Vol. VIII-2, pp. 19-31
The journal and the letters of Etty Hillesum, a young Jewish woman who died in Auschwitz in 1943, are known in France through a translation of a partial edition, a kind of anthology published in the early 80s.This text therefore comes to us through a "double filter": one of the edition that follows only partly the original, and one of the translation that wants to do justice to the moral and religious bearing of the text, sometimes to the detriment of the spontaneity and the hesitations of an intimate journal. In the perspective of a new French translation, to appear in 2005, that is to take into account the whole of Hillesum's writings, the translator examines with the help of some examples the tension that exists between two aims of the translation: the presentation of a literary text and that of a personal historical document.