Vincent Kling wins the 2022 Wolff Translator Prize

The annual Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator Award goes to Vincent Kling for his translation of ‘The Strudlhof steps by Heimito von Doderer.

The Vienna Hofburg, the Imperial Palace on Michaelerplatz, December 2020. Image – Getty iStockphoto: ExitHamster

By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson

“Masterful quality”

Jhe Goethe-Institut New York has announced that Vincent Kling is the winner of the 202 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his translation of The steps of the Strudelhof by Heimito von Doderer, published by New York Review Books.

Hayden Toftner is the winner of the Friends of Goethe New York Gutekunst Prize.

This year’s Wolff Prize winner was chosen by a jury of five people specializing in German literature and translation: Shelley Frisch (Chair); Bettina Abarbanell; Philip Boehm; John Hargraves; and Susan Harris.

In their statement of justification, the jury said: “This novel, one of Austria’s most renowned literary works, but never before translated into English, moves between two periods – 1908 to 1911 and 1923 to 1925 – and features an intriguing array of characters from many walks of life.

Vincent Kling

“We congratulate Vincent Kling on this monumental linguistic and literary achievement, the masterful quality of which is maintained on each of the novel’s more than 800 pages.

“It may not be a coincidence that the very last word of this resplendent translation is ‘perfection’.”

Kling is a professor of German at La Salle University in Philadelphia. His thesis was on the early work of Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

He translated Doderer, Veteranyi, Fritsch, Bahr and Jonke, as well as Heimrad Bäcker, Hofmannsthal, Andreas Pittler, Engelbert Pfeiffer and Werner Kofler. He received the Schlegel-Tieck Prize in 2013 for his translation of Veteranyi’s novel Why the child cooks in polenta.

Since 1996, the Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator Prize has been awarded annually to recognize an outstanding German-to-English literary translation published in the United States or Canada in the previous year. The translator of the winning translation receives US$10,000.

The award ceremony will take place at the Goethe-Institut in New York on June 16.

The annual Friends of Goethe New York Gutekunst Prize will also be awarded on June 16, with a jury of translators Tess Lewis, Alta L. Price and publisher Jeremy Davies selecting Hayden Toftner for his translation of an excerpt from the book. by Asal Dardan. Betrachtungen einer Barbarin.

The winner, Toftner, is a recent graduate of Kenyon College, where he studied German and political science and worked as a teaching assistant for introductory German courses.

This fall, he is scheduled to serve as an American teaching assistant in Austria, helping teach English and promote cross-cultural understanding at two Austrian high schools.

New York Review Books has a taped discussion at The steps of the Strudelhof with translator Vincent Kling, Daniel Kehlmann and Tess Lewis. We will incorporate that discussion here.

This is the 93rd Publishing Perspectives awards report published in the 96 days since the start of our 2022 operations in January is


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About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory, and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has collaborated with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.