Anna Frank - The Graphic Diary: From Translation to Adaptation

R. Weissbrod, A. Kohn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper discusses Anne Frank's Diary - The Graphic Adaptation (Frank, Folman and Polonsky 2017) through the prism of relevance theory and basic Bakhtinian concepts. Based on relevance theory, Gutt (2000) introduced the concept of indirect translation, which “interpretively resembles” the source text in respects that are relevant to the target audience in its new context. Taking as our departure point the idea that this concept can be applied to adaptations as well, we use it to address the graphic adaptation of Anne Frank's diary. We show that the graphic diary interpretively resembles the original, first published in 1947, in respects that are relevant to young (and other) readers today. As in the case of indirect translation, it has been adapted to our times, first of all by turning the original written text (actually comprising more than one version) into a multimodal work. By abridging the original and adding visual elements, it meets the expectations of a new generation of readers familiar with new media. The transformation involves modification of the dimensions of time and space, which we address by means of the Bakhtinian concept of the chronotope (Bakhtin 1981). The original polyphony (Bakhtin 1984), too, has been modified since new voices, including those of the editor and illustrator, are present. The voice of Annזe Frank herself, which had been partly silenced due to censorship (Lefevere 1992), was given full rein. Our focus is twofold: firstly, the adaptation itself which, in keeping with the expectation of indirect translation, is true to the original meaning despite its indirectness (Smith 2002: 112); and secondly, its relevance to the contemporary audience (“contextual effects” in the terminology of Gutt 2000: 29). We also hope to shed light on more general issues, namely, the links between translation and adaptation studies, and relevance theory itself.   References Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhaĭlovich, 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, Michael Holquist (ed.), Caryl Emerson (trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press. Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhaĭlovich, 1984. Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, Caryl Emerson (ed. and trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Frank, Anne, 2017. Anne Frank – ha-Yoman ha-Graphi [Anne Frank – the Graphic Diary]. Ari Folman (ed.), David Polonsky (illus.). Or Yehuda: Kineret, Zmora-Bitan, Dvir. [In Hebrew. An English version was published by Pantheon Graphic Novels in [.2018 Gutt, Ernst-August, 2000. Translation and Relevance: Cognition and Context. Manchester: St. Jerome. Lefevere, André, 2017 (1992). “Translation: Ideology - On the Construction of Different Anne Franks”, in Translation, Rewriting, and the Manipulation of Literary Fame. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 45-54 Smith, Kevin, 2002. “Translation as Secondary Communication: The Relevance Theory Perspective of Ernst-August Gutt”, Acta Theologica 22:1, pp. 107-117.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2019
EventHebrew - A Living Language (10) - Oranim Academic College, Israel
Duration: 4 Feb 20194 Feb 2019


ConferenceHebrew - A Living Language (10)
CityOranim Academic College


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  • Hebrew - A Living Language (10)

    Rachel Weissbrod (Participation - Conference participant)

    4 Feb 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organizing an eventOrganizing a conference, workshop, ...

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