Wednesday, February 25, 2015

An Interview with Translator Tim Wilkinson

The Asymptote Blog has an interview with translator Tim Wilkinson. I've read his translations of Imre Kertész's Facelessness and Fiasco, Miklós Szentkuthy's Marginalia on Casanova and Towards the One and Only Metaphor (along with excerpts from other of his books, and I have Prae on deck), and Death of an Athlete by Miklós Mészöly. I have him to thank for many extraordinary books I wouldn't have had access to without his translations.

From the end of the interview, with a couple of my notes:
Q: Which of the translations that you’ve worked on was the most challenging? Why?

A: I suppose the Szentkuthy ones, not least because he was writing on a formidable range of subjects, from what most people think of as fairly abstruse mathematical theory, physics, botany, music, literary theory, painting, and so on.
[It was overwhelming to read. I can't imagine what it was like to translate.]

Q: Which one author do you think most deserves wider recognition worldwide?

A: I could easily add a couple of dozen other living Hungarian authors, but let me content myself with just mentioning György Spiró.
[Yes! I've made the wish that more of his work available in translation.]

Be sure and check it out.


John said...

Oh, dear. I'm close to finishing Mr Wilkinson's translation of Spiró's Captivity, and I wonder if he used a couple of assistants who speak English as a second language. (Plus, his publisher apparently refuses to employ a copy-editor.) The prose is graceless, the command of grammar uncertain. Perhaps he was on a very tight deadline?

Dwight said...

I noticed a few spots in Captivity where things didn't seem quite right, but I'm not sure why. I still enjoyed the book, fortunately, but it is troublesome when you run into something like that.