Slovak Literature in German Speaking Countries

Slovak literature is venturing into Germany and Austria, with the support of SLOLIA.

Literary Relations Intensify

This fall marks a substantial cooperation of the Literary Information Center with German and Austrian publishers, translators and other institutions. We participated in the Frankfurt Book Fair where we initiated several important relationships and demonstrated interest in new collaborations between Slovakia and Germany. You can find a short report from the book fair written by our colleague Peter Michalík here

At the beginning of October, we closed the application process for a grant for translations into German; the results can be found here. At the moment we offer translators the opportunity to participate in the artistic residency in Banská Štiavnica, the deadline for applications is November 25th 2019 and more information on how to apply here. The writer Alexandra Salmela presented her children' s writings in Leipzig and Dresden; pictures from the events were published on the Facebook page of the Leipzig organization which focues on finnish-German relations. 

In the spring, a workshop for translators took place in Looren, strengthening Slovak - German - Czech relations. Here is the German websiteEva Profousová and Ján Jambor came up with the idea for the workshop and among other participants were Lena Dorn, Alexander Kratochvil, Juraj Dvorský, Katarína Széherová, Zorka Ciklaminy, Mirko Kraetsch, Ines Sebesta, Marta Eich, Michaela Škultéty and Marie Voslářová. A similar event is planned for 2021. 


Balla in Vienna

On November 9th Balla presented his book V mene otca at the international book fair Book Vienna. The book is coming out in German translation. The Donau Lounge Stage hosted authors from countries through which the river Danube flows. Marie-Theres Cermann, the translator of the book, was present as well.

Balla said about the event and about the collaboration with the translator: "The presentation of the German translation of the novella V mene otca, published by the Austrian Wieser Verlag, in the intimate atmosphere of the Viennese mini-fair Buch Vienna 2020 was hosted by Cornelius Hell, the Austrian literary critic, experienced professional, translator from Lithuanian and - among other things - graduate in theology, ensuring a truly sparkling discussion with the author - an agnostic. Hell was brilliantly prepared; he only managed to read a portion of the presented book and thanks to this he was absolutely authentically curious about what he had missed from the story. I was very lucky - as I hope I will be in the future - that it was Marie Cermann from Leipzig who had translated my book. She read excerpts from the presented text and as far as I can judge with my limited knowledge of German, her translation is fantastic and I believe the book has a chance - due to her precise work - to speak to Austrian readers, specifically those who come from broken or half-broken families, since adversity, fiasco, but also absurd humor and ironic distance from a failed marriage do not abide by borders between nations or languages; they only recognize ruthless universal laws."


New book titles

The afore-mentioned novella by Balla V mene otca came out as Im Namen des Vaters in the publishing house Wieser Verlag, Klagenfurt, Austria. The text was translated by Marie-Theres Cermann

The German version of Peter Krištúfek's book Dom hluchého, that has already been translated into English, Arabic, Amharic, Polish, Russian or Czech, received support from SLOLIA in March  2018. The book comes out officially this December in the publishing house Braumüller Verlag from Vienna. Mirko Kraetsch was the translator. 

Das blinde Fischlein is the German name of the book Slepá rybka by Rút Lichnerová. Translated by Roswitha Eberstaller, it also comes out in Wieser Verlag.

Another title that has already been published is Ľuboš Jurík's book Rok dlhší ako storočie – Dubčeks kurzer Frühling. Simon Gruber translated the text for Anthea Verlag

The Austrian publishing house Paul Zsolnay Verlag is preparing the publication of Peter Balko's Vtedy v Lošonci (Zusammen sind wir unbesiegbar, translated by Zorka Ciklaminy) for spring 2020.

Klak Verlag, the German publishing house from Berlin is working on the publication of the poetry collection by Martin Solotruk Planktón gravitácie – Plankton der GravitationMartina Straková is translating the book. 

In March 2019, financial support was granted to the publishing subject Literarische Arena from Dresden for a specialized edition of their magazine Ostragehege Nr. 94 - Neue Texte aus der Slowakei (Dana Podracká, Erik J. Groch, Michal Tallo, Juraj Briškár, Pavel Vilikovský, Vanda Rozenbergová, Mária Modrovichová, Peter Zajac, Matúš Mikšík, Ivan Čičmanec). The editor of the edition is Mila Haugová and Slávka Rude-Porubská is working on the translations. Martina Straková is translating poems of Ivan Štrpka and the title Stille Hände. Zehn Elegien (Desať elégií) should be published in 2020 by Klak Verlag. Only two months ago, SLOLIA supported the German edition of the novel Matky (Mutter, translated by Ines Sebesta, publisher Anthea Verlag) by Pavol Rankov


The complete list of books supported by SLOLIA can be found here.

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