Volume 2021 Number 3
  • EISSN: 2223-506X


This article presents the adaptation of the visual elements and how the illustrations have been adapted to fit new cultural and social context. The Swedish original of Astrid Lindgren’s book and the Polish translation will serve as the research material.

In the current analysis of the graphic aspect of Astrid Lindgren’s books published in Poland, Edwin Panofsky’s iconological approach to the image is combined with Roland Barthes’ semiotic approach. The application of these two methods enables an explanation to be formulated as to why the visual representation of certain elements of the Swedish cultural code disappeared in translation. The represented world in the original differs from the represented world in the translation, especially in the recreation of the Swedish village. In the Polish illustrations, the Swedish village setting has been placed higher up the social ladder than in the original illustrations, thereby avoiding a direct portrayal of village life, traditionally regarded as inferior in Polish culture. Polonization also happens in the purifying strategies adopted by the illustrators. Because of the reduction of illustrations representing children and adults engaged in agricultural work, as well as children in direct contact with nature or animals, the book’s character has considerably altered through its adjustment to the Polish cultural code, mainly in the protagonists’ outward appearance as inhabitants of the town.

In the Polish illustrations, a folklorization also appears, through the introduction of folkoric elements from the region of southern Poland symbolizing the superior status of this culture over the peasant culture of other regions.

In addition, the illustrations that accompany the translations are anachronistic in relation to the time setting of the plot as related in the text.


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