Paul de Man as Translator and ‘Intercultural Mediator’ in Occupied Belgium (1940-1944)
Keywords:Cultural transfer, Cultuurtransfer, literary translation and cultural life in Nazi Germany, literaire vertaling en cultureel leven in Nazi-Duitsland, Franco-German cultural exchange, Duits-Franse culturele bemiddeling, Paul de Man
The contribution of future Belgo-American university professor Paul de Man (1919-1983) to the collaborationist press in occupied Belgium has not been studied from the perspective of cultural transfer research. This essay offers a comprehensive analytical approach to de Man’s work as an ‘intercultural mediator’ during World War II, considering his numerous articles on foreign literatures published in Le Soir and other French- and Dutch-language Belgian newspapers under German occupation as well as his translations from German and Dutch/Flemish into French. The study will necessarily take the systemic context of intellectual collaboration into consideration, especially as far as the networks of editorial life and of transnational Franco-German cultural relationships during the Nazi regime are concerned.