The Mission of K A Nitz Publishing

Friedrich Schleiermacher in his “Über die verschiedenen Methoden des Übersetzens” suggests two alternative approaches to translating a work: bringing the reader closer to the work or bringing the work closer to the reader.

Schleiermacher’s first method strives for the impression that the reader would receive from reading the work in the original language — not as a beginner in the language who must first think through the words in his own language, nor as a native speaker, but rather as an educated person for whom the language is both familiar and yet still strange. According to Schleiermacher, this feeling of strangeness is achieved when the translation follows the turns in the original text closely whilst striving not to do any damage to the destination language. At the same time, he stresses that such translations are of no worth if a feeling of strangeness cannot be valued in the destination language — that is, some deviations and innovations must be tolerated. Partly for this reason, such an approach to translation has no worth if only practised haphazardly — to be successful, all of the works of the chosen author must be translated in this way so that the feeling of strangeness can develop associations within the destination language and provide the reader with enough material in which to acclimatise themselves to this strangeness.

The mission of this publishing firm is to publish English translations of all of each chosen author’s published novels and stories to test Schleiermacher’s theory through a ‘close’ translation of the author’s entire corpus by a single translator. Individually the novels should feel strange to read — not just because of their foreign origin, but also because of the distance in time from when they were originally written — but read in sequence, the reader should become acclimatised to it. Does this work? The reader can decide.

The Authors

Hermann Stehr (1864-1940)

Georg Engel (1866-1931)

Paul Keller (1873-1932)

The Full Catalogue (With sample chapters.)

4 thoughts on “The Mission of K A Nitz Publishing

  1. Here is another neglected author for your collection: the Austrian Werner Kofler (d. 2011) — Sonderzahl has published a 3-volume edition of his works. I love the author’s satirical social criticism and have started to translate his novels. Would you be interested in seeing a sample? (I am an experienced, published translator).

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    1. Sounds interesting, there are so many neglected authors. Unfortunately, in his case the works are still under copyright, which raises the bar on publishing translations of them – the additional costs are part of why I focus predominantly on works published prior to 1923 by authors who passed away more than 70 years ago, and whose works have mostly never been translated into English. And I have a long list of them ranked by their estimated sales during the first half of the 20th century. A further consideration is my stated aim to publish all or most of an author’s work – translation rights are most commonly licensed on a per-book basis for a specific period, meaning that I would not be able to guarantee that an author series would be able to continue in the event of other publishers deciding to compete for rights. I wish you success in finding a publisher willing to make the investment in that author.

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  2. Dear K. A. Nietz. First, allow me to salute your projects of translation. I saw that you translated the first part of Der moderne Kapitalismus by Werner Sombart. Do you plan to translate the rest of it? If so, when will it be released? Sincerely yours, TV

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    1. Thank you, Tristan. Yes, I do intend to translate the entire mammoth work. At present (Nov 2021) I am just over half way through the second volume (which is considerably larger than the first volume). I expect that this will be ready for publication within the next two years, though I am considering starting a Substack to publish working chapters (probably without notes or glosses) as I go. Der moderne Kapitalismus is an enormous work which I expect will take the rest of my life to finish translating part-time.

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