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Caians win top US translation prize

  • 08 December 2016

Two Caian scholars, Life Fellow Edward Timms (1956) and Fred Bridgham (1968) have won a prestigious award from the Modern Language Association of America for their translation of The Last Days of Mankind by the Austrian writer and journalist Karl Kraus (pictured). Professor Bridgham, of the University of Leeds, and Professor Timms, of the University of Sussex, received the twelfth Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work for their book, published by Yale University Press. The prize will be presented on 7 January 2017.

The committee’s citation for Bridgham and Timms’s translation praised the authors for managing "to convey differences in register and dialects from German into English and ingeniously resolve slips and wordplay that “blend pathos with humor,” as they phrase it.

"The various paratexts are helpful and sound. The translation is aesthetically nuanced and distinguished, and the imbedded poetry is carefully crafted. This monumental volume of scholarship and literary translation brings Kraus’s epic masterpiece in full to English-language readers a century after its publication."

Fred Bridgham received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, and from 1971 until his retirement in 2006 he was affiliated with the University of Leeds, where he supervised doctoral dissertations and pioneered master’s courses in Anglo-German literary relations and literary translation. He is editor of The First World War as a Clash of Cultures and the author of The Friendly German-English Dictionary, Germany from Unification to Reunification, and Rainer Maria Rilke: Urbild and Verzicht. He has written and lectured widely on German literature and music, and recently translated a collection of five plays by Georg Kaiser, entitled After Expressionism, and is currently working on other comedies from the Weimar period, including Carl Zuckmayer’s The Grapes of Mirth (Der fröhliche Weinberg).

Edward Timms, emeritus professor of German at the University of Sussex, was also the founding director of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies. Among his many publications are Karl Kraus: Apocalyptic Satirist, Freud and the Child Woman: The Memoirs of Fritz Wittels, and the memoir Taking Up the Torch: English Institutions, German Dialectics and Multicultural Commitments. He is coeditor of Freud in Exile: Psychoanalysis and its Vicissitudes. With his wife, Saime Göksu, he is author of Romantic Communist: The Life and Work of Nazim Hikmet. He is a fellow of the British Academy and in 2005 was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to scholarship. His research has been honored by the City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria. His most recent publication is Anna Haag and Her Secret Diary of the Second World War: A Democratic German Feminist’s Response to the Catastrophe of National Socialism.

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