Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize 2008

June 9, 2008

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Translator David Dollenmayer was chosen to receive the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize by a jury of five for his translation of Moses Rosenkranz' Childhood. An Autobiographical Fragment (Kindheit. Fragment einer Autobiographie) published by Syracuse University Press in 2007. The honor was presented to him by the Consul General of Germany in Chicago, Wolfgang Drautz, on Monday, June 9, 2008.

Members of the jury were: Renate Latimer (Atlanta, GA), Krishna Winston (Middletown, CT), Denis Scheck (Cologne, Germany) Peter Constantine (New York) and Committee Chair, Rainer Schulte (Dallas, TX).

The jury said that “David Dollenmayer's translation of this memoir by a poet unknown in the English-speaking world conveys a vivid picture of life among Jews in the last days of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Dollenmayer captures with great sensitivity and skill the lively, often poetic, sometimes ironic, always unexpected style of the original. To translate this text, Dollenmayer had to familiarize himself with the setting: rural Bucovina before, during, and just after World War I; and make sense of Rosenkranz's elliptical and imaginative account of a childhood in which privation, cruelty, and danger might well have destroyed a less resilient spirit. Thanks to Dollenmayer, this extraordinary document is now accessible to readers who will find its perspective, language, and content fascinating.”

David Dollenmayer is Professor of German at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the author of The Berlin Novels of Alfred Döblin (University of California Press, 1988) and co-author with Thomas Hansen of Neue Horizonte: A First Course in German Language and Culture (Houghton Mifflin, 7th edition, 2008). In addition to Kindheit by Moses Rosenkranz, he has published translations of works by Bertolt Brecht (Flüchtlingsgespräche), Perikles Monioudis (Im Äther), Anna Mitgutsch (Haus der Kindheit), and Michael Kleeberg (Der König von Korsika). His translations of Mietek Pemper's Der rettende Weg. Schindlers Liste – die wahre Geschichte will appear in Fall, 2008 and of Peter Stephan Jungk's Die Reise über den Hudson in Spring, 2009. He is currently at work on a translation of Veza and Elias Canetti's Briefe an Georges as well as, with Susanne Even, a bilingual young adult novel.

 

Recorded Monday, June 09, 2008 at Chicago Cultural Center.