Esther Kinsky arrived in Battonya, a town in the south-east of Hungary, from Berlin. About five years ago, she
was held up at the customs. Stuck at a railway station, she looked for a
place to sleep, and eventually she did not continue her trip to Serbia
and Romania as planned. Ever since, she has written two novels about her
experiences in German.
”It irritates me more than anything when the translator takes upon herself or himself to redress a political imbalance by mangling a perfectly open text just to show that they are not simply co-opting it.” – Poet-translator George Szirtes answers questions by HLO’s brother site, Litera, as part of a series of interviews with translators.
Of course, Lipót Braun was right when he said that what is lost is lost forever. But (and it’s just that): what does it mean to lose something? Does it mean that it has disappeared and is no more, that it was swallowed by the earth; or does it only mean that we don’t see it any longer? And if we don’t see it, do we even miss it?
Yet in summer, when the night is shortest and the longest trains trundle
over Gubacsi Bridge, an enormous boat makes an appearance on the
Soroksár Danube, arriving via the tubular bridge and preceded by huge