Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Büchner Prize to FC Delius

Germany's most prestigious literary award for lifetime achievement has gone to the frankly rather excellent Friedrich Christian Delius, as Deutsche Welle reports.

You can read his earlier work The Pears of Ribbeck (trans. Hans Werner) on Google Books, and his more recent award-winning novella Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman (trans. Jamie Bulloch) is published by Peirene Press. Both of them are entirely free from punctuation, although he doesn't usually go without. I wrote about Portrait and Delius here.

The Georg Büchner Prize has basically gone to all the great writers in post-war German-language literature (although it started as a regional prize in 1923). Think of a prestigious, established German (probably male) writer: he will no doubt have won it. You can check on Wikipedia for hours of nerdy fun.

I'm particularly pleased about Delius getting it for two reasons: firstly because he's been published in English so recently and secondly because I really enjoy his writing, which is experimental while eminently readable. Oh, and they've put the prize money up from €40,000 to €50,000. Congratulations!

Update: a curmudgeonly informer has pointed out that not actually all great German writers have won the Büchner Prize. Thank you. And that it's more a sign that a writer has been accepted into the literary establishment once and for all. And that the great Georg Büchner himself would never have won a prize of its ilk. Not that they had many literary awards by the time of his death in 1837. But hey. I'm still pleased.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I'm leaving the library just now, as it happens, with a copy of Die Verlockungen der Wörter, oder Warum ich immer noch kein Zyniker bin under my arm, along with Der Spaziergang von Rostock nach Syrakus. Looking forward to a weekend of Delius...