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Reading: Stefan Heym’s Hostages (1942): Writing and Adapting a Bestseller


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Research article

Stefan Heym’s Hostages (1942): Writing and Adapting a Bestseller


Ian Wallace

University of Bath, GB
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Ian Wallace begins his article by drawing attention to the linguistic difficulties faced by an author writing in a second language. His comparative analysis reveals a series of significant changes between Hostages, Heym’s first novel written in English and published in the USA, and Der Fall Glasenapp, its self-translation which appeared in the GDR in 1958. Wallace contends that such changes demonstrate the importance of the cultural and historical context of publication to the complex processes of adaptation and rewriting. A further comparison with the 1943 Hollywood film version of Hostages reinforces Wallace’s view that literary and filmic translations always involve strategies of intercultural transfer, of cultural interaction and negotiation.
How to Cite: Wallace, I. “Stefan Heym’s Hostages (1942): Writing and Adapting a Bestseller”. New Readings, vol. 7, 2004, pp. 1—20. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2004.
Peer Reviewed


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