Scoop Review of Books

Tin Drum’s Translator to Speak in Welli

Fifty years ago, Günter Grass’s novel Die Blechtrommel hit the headlines, signalling the arrival of a brilliant new talent who would go on to become a Nobel Prize winner (1999).

Translated into a number of languages, The Tin Drum has become one of the best-known works of contemporary German literature. Now, as part of world-wide celebrations of the book’s half-century, a new English translation by Breon Mitchell is to appear in 2009.

But how does the translator take into account five decades of scholarship, a new edition of the German text, and over 3,500 issues raised by Grass himself in a page-by-page examination of the novel?

Hear this distinguished translator talk at Victoria University in early October about the fascinating process and special challenges of re-translating a classic text.

Victoria University’s New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, in association with the Goethe Institute, is hosting Breon Mitchell, an internationally-acclaimed translator of contemporary German fiction. He is currently Professor of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature at Indiana University, and Director of the Lilly Library.

What: Oskar gets a new Tin Drum: Retranslating Günter Grass
When: Wednesday 8 October, 6.30pm
Where: Lecture theatre 3, Government Buildings, Pipitea campus, 15 Lambton Quay, Wellington.