Lauren K Wolfe is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at New York University.
Selection of translated titles:
- Ernst Kapp, Foundations for a Philosophy of Technology (Grundlinien einer Philosophie der Technik). University of Minnesota Press, Posthumanities Series (under contract).
- Werner Kofler, At the Writing Desk (Am Schreibtisch). Dalkey Archive Press, 2016.
- Luzius Keller (Hrsg.), Modern and Contemporary Swiss Poetry: An Anthology (in Zusammenarbeit mit Reinhard Mayer). Dalkey Archive Press, 2012.
Three questions to Lauren K Wolfe:
Why did you choose to become a translator? Is it the profession you always wanted?
I suppose there are rare individuals who choose to become things.
Translation is for me a practice, one that is enriched by and that enriches other practices, such that it’s difficult to speak of “being” a translator.
I suppose it’s an activity I practice because in some sense it’s a pleasure but--and why this must be a “but” I don’t know--I’m sure there’s a more socially responsible answer one could also give, because social responsibility is also in some sense a part of it, a part of the pleasure too.
I think that deciding to become something and the practice of translation actually mutually exclude one another.
I began translating, for the most part, in flight from other things.
Which German book do you like the best and why?
At the moment I’m reading a lot of Salomo Friedländer. He’s unusual, and also irritating, and obvious and evasive at the same time. That’s why I like reading him. I’m not sure I like reading him the best. Sometimes you read things because you feel like you really get it, and sometimes you read things because you absolutely don’t. And then if you translate them, well then you kind of have to come to grips with that…
Is there a particular book you would like to translate?
I would happily translate Werner Kofler’s entire body of work.
But I also think that it’s in the writing and execution of the law that one person ought to equal one person, and not at all in the practice of translation.