Lecture in the Research Group “Novel and Epic, Ancient and Modern”: When Dadaism Meets Homer: Raoul Schrott’s German Iliad and Its Popular and Scholarly Reception
In 2008, the Austrian poet and dadaist Raoul Schrott published a German translation of Homer’s Iliad and effectively announced it as the first to fully convey what Homer supposedly said and meant, whereas all previous translations were dismissed as travesties of the original.
Schrott’s translation was met with great interest by the general public, but triggered an uproar among Classics scholars. In this lecture, professor Silvio Friedrich Bär will analyse and discuss the diverging mechanisms of popular versus scholarly reception and offer some explanations as to why these differed so profoundly in the case of Schrott. Inter alia, it will be argued that Schrott’s translation is more firmly rooted in the classical tradition than some of his critics acknowledge and that scholarly reception often has its blind spots when it comes to understanding and acknowledging the mechanisms of popular reception. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated that Schrott’s popular success can only be understood in the context of the political debate about European integration in Germany at the time of its publication.