Thursday, September 17, 2020

Tim Wilkinson (1947 - 2020)

I was extremely sad to see a post from on the passing of Tim Wilkinson, "One of Hungarian literature's most prominent translators, known best for his work with Imre Kertész and Miklós Szentkuthy." I've read quite a few books translated by him and have posted on some of them.
Wilkinson translated many academic books, mostly related to Hungarian history, and it was only decades later, in the early 2000's, he published his first book-length literary translations. From then until the present day, almost twenty literary fiction and non-fiction titles were published in Tim Wilkinson's name, including works by Iván Bächer, László F. Földényi, Miklós Mészöly, György Spiró and Péter Zilahy among others.

I was looking forward to Contramundum Press' fall release of Miklós Szentkuthy's Chapter on Love. Although the translator isn't named, I would assume it is Wilkinson. I love his attitude toward his translation projects (quote from one of the links on my posts):

I often translate just for my own pleasure, independent of whether I’ve been commissioned or not by a publisher. If I manage to “sell” one of these translations later on, then all the merrier, but there’s usually no guarantee that this will ever happen. Consequently, I’ve done translations of works—usually one or two—written by ten to twelve different authors, but these manuscripts are still slumbering in the depths of my desk drawer. There is also a list of authors I haven’t translated yet, but would if I only had the time. Among them are István Szilágyi, László Végel, György Spiró and Dezső Tandori, whom I’ve lately included. Ádám Bodor and Péter Lengyel are also on this list, but I know others are already translating them.

Wishing comfort and strength for his family and friends.

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