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“Sterling work” by Guernica Translators Thor Polson, Elana Wolff, and Menachem Wolff

kafka langer

The collection of Franz Kafka’s writings and Georg Mordechai Langer’s poetry entitled A Hunger Artist & Other Stories; Poems and Songs of Love, which was translated by Thor Polson, Elana Wolff, and Menachem Wolff, was described in a recent review as “sterling work”. The review, which was posted on the Goodreads website, points out how this translation “shows how varied and diverse Kafka’s output could be”. The review also draws on the basis for the collection of Kafka and Langer’s work, “attached to these works are poems, more or less long lost and hardly ever (if at all) translated into English, from a man Kafka’s letters and diaries mention a few times each, but one who perhaps was secretly in love with him”. The book evokes “mentions of secrets, lost loves and more…alongside the eulogy to Kafka that the translators based their biographical search around”. The review concludes by stating “this book is unusual, and completely necessary”.

A Hunger Artist & Other Stories; Poems and Songs of Love was released by Guernica in Fall 2014, and brings together Kafka’s writings with those of Georg Mordechai Langer. The book combines the translations of Kafka by Thor Polson with translations of Langer done collaboratively by Elana and Menachem Wolff. Polson has a master’s degree in German literature from Middlebury College and is also the writer of Childsong. While this translation is Menachem Wolff’s first literary work, Elana Wolff has written four collections of poetry including the F.G. Bressani Prize-winning You Speak to Me in Trees, and the bilingual Helleborus & Alchémille, which was awarded the John Glassco Prize for Translation in 2014 (translator: Stéphanie Roesler).

Posted in Fiction, News, Poetry, Reviews.

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