On 3rd July 2011 (http://bachmannpreis NULL.eu/en/bachmannpreis/3312) the Austrian State Prize for Literary Translation 2010 will be awarded to Adan Kovacsics (Spain) and Johann Strutz (Austria). The awarding ceremony will be held in Klagenfurt, in the house where famous Austrian writer Robert Musil was born and which now accommodates a research centre and museum on Musil.
Born in Chile of Hungarian parents, Adan Kovacsics studied in Vienna and now lives in Barcelona. He has translated some of the most important works of Hungarian and German-language literature into Spanish and received numerous prizes for his translations. One of his main focuses is on Austrian literature, of which he has translated a great variety of genres, from prose and poetry to drama, aphorisms and essays, as well as some of the most important writers: Kafka, Canetti, Celan, Doderer, Horváth, Lernet-Holenia, Altenberg, Zweig, Roth, Hofmannsthal, Drach, Améry, Aichinger, Bachmann, Bernhard, Jelinek, Hackl. These and in particular his brilliant translations of works by Karl Kraus (The Last Days of Mankind; Half-Truths and One-And-A Half-Truths: Selected Aphorisms), who is often said to be ‘un-translatable’, have earned him the Austrian State Prize for Literary Translation.
Johann Strutz was born in Carinthia, studied literature and comparative literature in Graz and is now assistant professor at the University of Klagenfurt. His main interest being in the ‘pianissimo’ of the smaller literatures of Europe, he translates from Slovenian, Croatian, Italian, English and even Welsh. In his translations of works by e.g. Slovenian writers Florjan Lipuš and Marjan Tomšic, Croatian writer Milan Rakovac and Welsh novelist and poet Emyr Humphreys it becomes evident how sensitive he is to cultural differences and how aptly he renders them into German. As philosopher and translator Boris Buden writes, Strutz thus makes a valuable contribution to ‘Europe as a translation project’.
The twin prize is awarded annually for an outstanding translation of a work by a contemporary Austrian writer into a foreign language and of a work of contemporary foreign literature into German. Each of the prizes is endowed with 8,000 Euros and is funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. The prize jury also awards premiums for individual translations by Austrian translators or of Austrian contemporary literature. In 2010, 39 translators translating 18 languages into or from German received an award of up to 2200 Euros.