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Gdańskie Spotkania Tłumaczy Literatury

The Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Translation Awards of the Mayor of Gdańsk were presented on 12 April. The lifetime achievement award went to Małgorzata Łukasiewicz, whose translations from German include works by Jürgen Habermas, Theodor W. Adorno, Friedrich Nietzsche, Herman Hesse and W.G. Sebald, among others. From the seven translators shortlisted in the single translation category, the jury selected Marcin Szuster, author of the Polish version of Djuna Barnes’ novel Nightwood. The award accompanies the “Found in Translation” Gdańsk Literary Meetings organized by the City Culture Institute.

The lifetime achievement award went to Małgorzata Łukasiewicz, translator and essayist specializing in translating German prose, essays and philosophical literature. Łukasiewicz introduced Polish readers to such eminent authors as Hans Georg Gadamer, Jürgen Habermas, Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, Heinrich Böll, Patrick Süskind, Robert Walser, W.G. Sebald, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann and Joseph Roth. She is one of the most recognizable authors of Polish literature on translation and winner of many awards granted, among others, by Pro-Helvetia, Bosch Foundation, PEN-Club, Literatura na Świecie, Zeszyty Literackie as well as the Polish-German literary translation award.

The single translation award was granted to Marcin Szuster for his brilliant translation of Djuna Barnes’ modernist novel Nightwood from English into Polish.

“The novel was first published in 1936; its plot being little more than a pretext for the author’s unbridled linguistic imagination. Lexical wealth, fickle syntax, sudden shifts between various types of discourse and risqué metaphors, bordering on conscious pretentiousness, place this novel within the poetics of camp. These elements, as well as playing with literary conventions, allusions to classics and contemporary avant-garde writers, such as Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, posed a huge challenge for the translator”, said Justyna Sobolewska, member of the Award Committee, about the translator’s skill.

The 2018–19 Award committee was composed of: Joanna Kornaś-Warwas, Piotr Paziński, Julia Różewicz, Justyna Sobolewska, Tomasz Swoboda, Ryszard Turczyn and Anna Wasilewska (head).

The Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Translation Award of the Mayor of Gdańsk is presented during Gdańsk Literary Meetings organized by the City Culture Institute.