Last week, the Instytut Ksiazki announced that this year’s Transatlantyk Award was to Vlasta Dvořáčková, who translates Polish literature into Czech.
Vlasta Dvořáčková is the most important Czech translator of Czesław Miłosz, Tadeusz Różewicz, Wisława Szymborska, and Zbigniew Herbert. Ever since having studied Polish Literature at Charles University in Prague – in the complex circumstances of a communist state and widespread censorship – she has promoted Polish literature and culture, including authors that were blacklisted. She has performed an invaluable service in her publishing and popularizing of modern Polish poetry, both before and after 1989. Her contribution to the popularization of the classics of Polish literature is also inestimable, as her translations include Jan Andrzej Morsztyn, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Henryk Sienkiewicz and Adam Mickiewicz. Dvořáčková has won the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland. In 2009 she received the translation of the year award from the Czech Translators’ Association for her rendering of recent volumes by Wisława Szymborska (Moment, Colon, and Here). She also translates from German and English.
The Transatlantyk is an annual Book Institute award presented for outstanding achievement in the promotion of Polish literature in the world. The Award Chapter selects the winner; it is made up of Ireneusz Kania, Xenia Staroshyelska, Beata Stasińska and Olga Tokarczuk. The head is the Director of the Book Institute. The award includes 10,000 euro and a statue. The winners to date have been: Henryk Bereska (2005), Anders Bodegård (2006), Albrecht Lempp (2007), Xenia Staroshyelska (2008), Biserka Rajčić (2009), and Pietro Marchesani (2010).
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .