Helen and Kurt Wolff Symposium 2010: Landmarks

June 22, 2010

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Breon Mitchell

An extended discussion of the lifetime's worth of literary translations authored by Breon Mitchell, including an interview with New York Times journalist David Streitfeld, the presentation of an award from Germany's foreign office, as well as an acknowledgement from Noble Prize winner Günter Grass, and closing with a reading from Mitchell's retranslation of Grass's Tin Drum (a recording of Grass reading from the same passages was graciously provided by Grass's publisher, Steidl Verlag). Introduction to the entire symposium by Werner Ott, director of the Goethe-Institut Chicago.

Breon Mitchell is a professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington and currently the director of Lily's Rare Book Library in Bloomington. Among his translations into American English are works by F. Federspiel (Geographie der Lust/ Laura's Skin), Rüdiger Kremer (The Color of the Snow), Ralf Rothmann (Messers Schneide/ Knife Edge), Martin Grzimek (Die Beschattung/ Shadowlife), Franz Kafka (Der Prozess/ The Trial), Heinrich Böll (Der Engel schwieg/ The Silent Angel and Der blasse Hund/ The Mad Dog), Sten Nadolny (Ein Gott der Frechheit/ The God of Impertinence ) und Marcel Beyer (Spione/ Spies). His new translation of Günter Grass' Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) was recently published to mark the novel's fiftieth anniversary. In 2004 he won the Kurt and Helen Wolff Translator Prize.

David Streitfeld writes about economics for the New York Times. For 20 years, he covered the world's literary culture for the Washington Post and other publications.

Professor Rainer Schulte is the Director of The Center for Translation Studies and the founder and editor of Translation Review at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). He is a translator, poet, playwright, and critic. In 1978 he co-founded the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), whose national office is located at The Center for Translation Studies at UTD. One of his major contributions is the development of translation workshops. He has translated fiction, poetry, and essays from German, French, Spanish, and Italian., published four books of poems and several critical books on the art and craft of literary translation. Professor Schulte is a specialist in contemporary international literature and interdisciplinary studies in the arts and humanities. He has translated works by Ivan Goll, Georg Britting, Pierre Reverdy, Jules Supervielle, Karl Krolow, Angel Gonzalez, Roberto Juarroz , Gottfried Benn, Heinrich Böll, Luis Garcia Morales, Claude Esteban, and Juan Liscano.

 

 

Recorded Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at Goethe-Institut Chicago.