Vol 1 No 1 (2021)
Research Article

Translating Readings: On Foreign Literary Theory in 1980s Czechoslovakia

Anna Förster
Department of Literary Studies, Slavic Literatures, Erfurt University, Nordhäuserstrasse 63, 99105 Erfurt, Germany
Published March 31, 2021
  • history of theory,
  • translation theory,
  • translation of theory,
  • Czechoslovakia
How to Cite
Förster, Anna. 2021. “Translating Readings”. Central European Cultures 1 (1), 57–74. https://doi.org/10.47075/CEC.2021-1.03.


Situated at the intersection of literary theory and translation theory, the paper deals with the history of foreign literary theory in 1980s Czechoslovakia. Focusing on both the published works and the archival legacy of Czech literary scholar Vladimír Macura (1945–99), it studies the peculiar intertwining of reading, commentary, and translation involved in the reception of foreign language theory from Russian Formalism to North American deconstruction, the translation of which had been hindered for ideological or political reasons, as well as its mediation through Macura’s publication of paraphrasing excerpts in his 1988 “Guidebook to International Literary Theory”.