The Czech Literary Translators’ Guild celebrated International Translation Day with its annual awards ceremony. The Hana Žantovská Scholarship for poetry translation went to Michael Alexa for his translation of the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski, while Martina Knápková won the Tomáš Hrách Prize for debut translators with Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart.
The Jury of the Josef Jungmann Prize had a difficult task choosing from last year’s excellent translations into Czech. Six Creative Prizes were awarded (to Petra Diestlerová for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell, to Lada Hazaiová for 35 muertos by Sergio Álvarez, to Alice Hyrmanová McElveen for the novel The Fields by Kevin Maher, to Hana Kulišanová for Boven is het stil by Gerbrand Bakker, to Radek Malý for selected poetry by R. M. Rilke, and to Danuše Navrátilová for L’Art français de la guerre by Alexis Jenni) as were two Awards of Merit, to Michaela Jacobsenová for the novel Aus dem Leben eines Fauns by Arno Schmidt, and to Anna Kareninová for Cantos II by Ezra Pound.
The 2014 Josef Jungmann Prize has gone to Robert Svoboda for his translation of the Hungarian novel Harmonia Caelestis by Péter Esterházy. Svoboda’s achievement in transplanting or recreating numerous puns into the target text as well as his harmonious rendering of various styles, themes and historical settings earned not only the praise of his colleagues, but the attention of the jury of the prestigious Magnesia Litera, which selected Esterházy’s opus magnum as the best book in translation published in 2013.
The ceremony and an interview with the laureate appeared in the evening Culture News on one of the main Czech Television programmes.