Literary roundup: Translating Winkler, Leo Perutz and Ukrainian poetry

In the newly published issue of The Quarterly Conversation there is an exchange between two translators of the Austrian writer Josef Winkler, Bernard Banoun and Adrian West, who translate him into French and English respectively. Between Banoun’s account of visiting Winkler’s hometown with him (“…imagine visiting Illiers-Combray with Proust or Yoknapatawpha with Faulkner” he writes.) and West’s reflections on the images in Winkler’s writing that “crop up like ghosts: the pig with its throat slit, the two boys who hanged themselves together, his aunt lifting him up over the coffin to look down at the dead face of his grandmother,” it makes for fascinating reading and, most of all, is an excellent introduction and spur to send you to read or reread the writer’s unique and exceptional work. Luckily, more and more of it is making its way into English.

Read an excerpt from Natura Morta in B O D Y (with links to more work available online at the bottom of the page)

There is a lot more great stuff in the new QC as well, including Katy Derbyshire on translating Christa Wolf’s August.

The Master of the Day of Judgment

The Franz Kafka Society of Prague is holding an evening devoted to a German-Jewish writer born in Prague towards the end of the 19th century who wrote magical and at times terrifying stories . . . no, not that guy. On Wednesday, March 12, there will be a literary evening (in Czech) for the great Leo Perutz, whose books By Night under the Stone Bridge, Little Apple and The Marquis of Bolibar among others are woefully underknown and absolutely brilliant. Incidentally, Perutz’s final novel was a novel full of intrigue involving Leonardo’s painting of The Last Supper. And to think that he might have been only a few cowled monks, a pair of detectives and 50 years or so away from megasellerdom (plus he died while writing it). Well, German-Jewish writers from Prague of that time know very well that life isn’t fair.

An evening of Ukrainian poetry

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, New Eastern Europe, the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Polish PEN Club and the Ukrainian PEN Club are holding an evening of Ukrainian poetry on Friday, March 14 at the Concert Hall of the Royal Castle in Warsaw. There will be a lecture on Ukrainian poetry (in Polish) by head of the Polish PEN Club, Adam Pomorski.

Photo – Leo Perutz

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Categories: Literary Events, News

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