Steinhoff, Anthony

Anthony Steinhoff

© Anthony J. Steinhoff
© Anthony J. Steinhoff
A historian of modern Germany and France, Anthony Steinhoff received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1996. After fifteen years of university teaching in the USA, in 2012 he joined the history department at the University of Quebec at Montreal. In addition to the book, The Gods of the City: Protestantism and Urban Culture in Strasbourg, 1870-1914, he is the author of numerous scholarly articles on religion, culture and society in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe. His current research focuses on the interrelationships among music, culture and politics in German-speaking Europe since 1850, with particular focus on the history of Richard Wagner’s final opera, Parsifal.  In 2015 he translated Wall Flower: A Life on the German border by Rita Kuczynski.

Questions:

Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted to have?

To be honest, I still see myself first and foremost as a professional historian. The decision to translate Wall Flower arose out of particular circumstances: as a teacher, I bemoaned the lack of good first-person narratives to assign to students that treated life in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. At one point, I remember having come across and enjoying Rita Kuczynski’s Mauerblume. On re-reading the memoir, I realised that this was something I could translate successfully. Fortunately, Rita was also interested in having the work appear in an English translation.

What German book do you like the best and why?

I don't really have a favourite German book, although I read quite a bit of German fiction and non-fiction.

Is there a particular book you would like to translate?

At this juncture, no, at least not into English. Since I am now teaching in a francophone context I am often frustrated by the absence of French translations of literary and even certain historical texts. Alas, my command of French is not yet at the level where I would dare to think about translating from German into French.

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