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Cultures in contact: The Catalan culture as guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007


  • Aline Cecilie Schnieder

Summary, in English

In this thesis the encounter of the Catalan culture with the German culture at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007 is investigated. The leading research question is how the Catalan culture presented itself at the planned encounter with the German culture and how it was perceived by the latter.
Semiotic analysis was conducted on the basis of newspaper articles from nine different newspapers analysing articles in Spanish, Catalan and German. The theoretic foundations are cultural semiotics, with the concepts of the semiosphere and the concept of autocommunication, as well as translation semiotics with the concepts of author and translator discourse. The analysis was conducted in three phases. The first phase is the phase of autocommunication in which the Catalan culture determines its “inner state”. The second phase investigates the perception of the first phase
in the German press as well as the concrete contact with the German culture at the fair. The last phase is concerned with the outcomes and evaluation of the fair. The main question before the fair which was dealt with in an autocommunicative act was who was going to be invited as part of the official representation of the Catalan culture: only authors writing in Catalan or also Catalan authors writing in Spanish? The Catalan organisers were as participators of the autocommunicative
act involved in the authorship of the text (information produced and communicated in the semiosphere) produced, but also translators transmitting this text to the German culture. Also the German newspapers acted as translators in the cultural encounter, translating the processes in Catalonia to a broad German public as well as the events at the fair, thus laying a foundation for the German society to understand current developments in the Catalan society. The evaluative phase has shown that parts of the Catalan culture have been accepted into the German culture, which is shown by an elevated number of translations of works in Catalan. Also on an international level the Catalan culture has achieved more visibility, manifested through a higher number of literary translations from Catalan as well as further participations at international fairs and events.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Social Sciences
  • Cultural Sciences


  • Catalan culture
  • cultural semiotics
  • Frankfurt Book Fair


  • Anna Cabak Rédei (Ph.D.)