Thursday, 29 April 2010

Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize to Ross Benjamin

You'll have to take Chad Post's word for it, but this year's Wolff Translation Prize goes to the lovely Ross Benjamin for his rendering of Michael Maar's Speak, Nabokov, "a vital new perspective on the twentieth-century master". You can read an extract at n+1.

Ross gets $10,000 and a stay on the shores of the Wannsee at Berlin's premiere house of literature, the Literarisches Colloquium. What makes me particularly happy is that this kind of bucks the trend of giving translation prizes to very established colleagues - not that they don't deserve the recognition too. Ross has translated Friedrich Hölderlin's Hyperion, Kevin Vennemann's Close to Jedenew, Speak, Nabokov - and has two forthcoming translations: Joseph Roth's Job: The Story of a Simple Man and Thomas Pletzinger's Funeral of a Dog. He also writes and is a literary critic and used to live in Berlin.

The jury said:

Benjamin’s translation is elegant, witty, even playful, doing justice to both the German original and the book’s subject. The translator reveals a sophisticated understanding of literary criticism and his own sure sense of literary style.

And you can read my interview with him here.

No comments: