Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ingeborg Bachmann

I've just finished reading 'Die Gestundete Zeit' a collection of poetry from the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann (1926 - 1973). Her poetry is beautifully written, dark and melancholy and a little too difficult for me always to fully appreciate it in the original German. I'm glad to see that there are at least two volumes available in English:
Darkness Spoken: Collected Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann, 2005 (trans. by Peter Filkins)
Last Living Words: The Ingeborg Bachmann Reader, 2006 (trans. by Lilian Friedberg)
though some of her work strikes me as untranslateable. Certainly when I attempted to translate her poem Autumn Manoeuvers I was not at all happy with the result. I am always reluctant to create a 'new poem' when translating and yet I couldn't produce anything that sounded good in English while remaining faithful to Bachmann's original.
I would definitely recommend looking out for her work - in the German original if possible or in translation.

1 comment:

Leon Blumfeld said...

Since you appear to be interested in German poetry, here's a link to a site you might enjoy:

http://www.geocities.com/johbeil/transl_index.html

And I invite you to stop by my blog:

http://worldsowide.blogspot.com/