Tuesday, September 30, 2008

THE TIN DRUM-Retranslating Gunter Grass

Fifty years ago, Günter Grass’s novel Die Blechtrommel hit the headlines, signalling the arrival of a brilliant new talent who would go on to become a Nobel Prize winner (1999).

Translated into a number of languages, The Tin Drum has become one of the best-known works of contemporary German literature. Now, as part of world-wide celebrations of the book’s half-century, a new English translation by Breon Mitchell is to appear in 2009.

But how does the translator take into account five decades of scholarship, a new edition of the German text, and over 3,500 issues raised by Grass himself in a page-by-page examination of the novel?

Hear this distinguished translator talk at Victoria University in early October about the fascinating process and special challenges of re-translating a classic text.

Victoria University’s New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, in association with the Goethe Institute, is hosting Breon Mitchell, an internationally-acclaimed translator of contemporary German fiction. He is currently Professor of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature at Indiana University, and Director of the Lilly Library.

What: Oskar gets a new Tin Drum: Retranslating Günter Grass
When: Wednesday 8 October, 6.30pm
Where: Lecture theatre 3, Government Buildings, Pipitea campus, 15 Lambton Quay, Wellington. N.Z.

The New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation was launched at Victoria University in March 2008. For more information about the Centre, please contact its Director, Dr Jean Anderson by emailing jean.anderson@vuw.ac.nz or by calling 04 463 5797.

Media: Journalists are welcome to attend the lecture. Breon Mitchell is in Wellington from 5 October until 10 October and is available for interviews. Copies of the lecture can be provided upon request to journalists.

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