The 2014 Austrian State Prize for Literary Translation goes to Alena Bláhová from the Czech Republic and to Erich Hackl, a translator from Spanish and a well-known Austrian writer.
Alena Bláhová is an expert on the translation of Jewish literature and has also made an important contribution to the reception of Rainer Maria Rilke in her country. Many of her translations, including a novel by Erich Hackl, are regarded as ideal representations of Austrian culture and the common heritage of the two neighbouring countries.
Erich Hackl is not a writer who translates but a translator in his own right. He is an expert in Latin American literature of different genres, but all characterized by political commitment. Among the authors he has translated are Rodrigo Rey Rosa (Guatemala), Luis Fayad (Colombia), Carilda Oliver Labra (Cuba), Eduardo Galeano (Uruguay) and Rodolfo Walsh (Argentina).
The prizes, worth €8,000 each, were awarded at a ceremony held in Klagenfurt at the end of June.
The same jury also awarded smaller prizes of up to €2,200 (ca. €62,000 total). Twenty-nine of these ‘Premiums’ were given to foreign translators for translations of Austrian literature and 18 to Austrian translators of foreign literature.