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Thursday 07 June 2007

Hofmann wins translation prize

The winner of this year's Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize has just been announced. It was (yay!) Michael Hofmann for Durs Grunbein's Ashes for Breakfast: Selected Poems.

Guest Judge Robert McCrum praised the winner saying, "Michael Hofmann's startling, and occasionally magical, rendering of Durs Grunbein's Ashes for Breakfast, a new collection from one of Germany's contemporary masters. A vindication of the translator's alchemy, Hofmann's versions do not smell of the lamp. They look like poems that want to be poems. As translations they feel voluntary, unforced."

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Reader Comments

Friday 08 June 2007

Lee Rourke says...


Funny you should mention this . . . as:


Friday 08 June 2007

Mark says...

Hi Lee,

Thanks for this. I'm a big fan of Hofmann, but "cockroach" seems so, so wrong to me ...

Willa and Edwin Muir's translation work best, for me, for Kafka.


Friday 08 June 2007

Lee Rourke says...


At first it seems incongruous, but after re-reading I can see the duality Hofmann intended. I like it. It's a brave translation that works for me - flat, plain, mundane, unliterary: quite beautiful, really.

Take care,


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