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).
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .
Like any good potboiler worth its salt, Fuminori Nakamura’s The Gun wastes no time setting up its premise: “Last night, I found a gun. Or you could say I stole it, I’m not really sure. I’ve never seen something so. . .
Heiner Resseck, the protagonist in Monika Held’s thought-provoking, first novel, This Place Holds No Fear, intentionally re-lives his past every hour of every day. His memories are his treasures, more dear than the present or future. What wonderful past eclipses. . .
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate office, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” To Björn, the office worker who narrates Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room, the reality is simple: there’s a door near the bathroom that leads. . .
I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist Press. In addition to the usual amusement of finally hearing both sides of the podcast (normally I just hear parts of Chad’s side. . .
Let’s not deceive ourselves, man is nothing very special. In fact, there are so many of us that our governments don’t know what to do with us at all. Six billion humans on the planet and only six or seven. . .
“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“And this—what. . .