Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Translation Prizes Honor Hard Work, Double Income

Translators don’t get the respect they deserve. Often, they labor for love , their name in italicized type on the title page. Translated by… and a token bit of money.

Last night, a seven translators split £10,000 worth of prizes, which is a welcome sum which for some will likely double the income earned for their work.

Each was gracious in their acceptance of the prizes.

Ian Fairley, who won the £2,000 German translation prize for his work on Paul Celan's poetry collection Snow Part, told the Guardian:

"I feel very honored to win. It means further recognition for the poet I translated," said "Celan's poetry can be masked by his reputation as a difficult poet. One of the things that attracted me to the book is that a lot of the poems are quite viscerally immediate. I translated it in the hope that it would be readable, and the fact of winning the prize helps me be hopeful that a few more people might open it and find something they like."

All but one of the winners discuss their prize. The missing winner, Fady Joudah, who won for his translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry, also happens to be a fantastic poet and won the 2007 Yale Younger Poet’s

Scott Moncrieff prize: Holiday in a Coma and Love Lasts Three Years translated by Frank Wynne

Premio Valle Inclán prize: The Past by Alan Pauls translated by Nick Caistor and Selected Poems by Luis de Góngora translated by John Dent-Young

Schlegel-Tieck prize: Snow Part by Paul Celan translated by Ian Fairley

John Florio Prize: The Greener Meadow by Luciano Erba translated by Peter Robinson

Hellenic Foundation for Culture Translation Award: A Levant Journal by Giorgos Seferis translated by Roderick Beaton

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize: The Butterfly's Burden by Mahmoud Darwish translated by Fady Joudah

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