Prize Recipient 2022
Prize Recipient 2022
For his translation of an excerpt from Asal Dardan’s novel Betrachtungen einer Barbarin (Hoffmann und Campe, 2021), the winner of the twelfth annual Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York is Hayden Toftner.
The jury, comprised of Tess Lewis, book critic and translator, Alta Price, translator, and Jeremy Davies, senior editor at And Other Stories, stated:
Hayden Toftner’s translation, in turn, recreates the narrator’s voice in all its immediacy, successfully conveying its alternating tones of pragmatism and nostalgia for a world she has not known. Dardan’s sentences are sinuous and lithe, conveying much emotional and contextual information without ever feeling weighty. Toftner captures that ease and litheness in a tone that slips between the casual and formal, elegantly reordering the clauses of the original sentences in order to communicate the author’s nuanced narrative with ease. The reader is gradually, almost imperceptibly drawn into the narrator’s mind, and this translation renders that process effectively and persuasively.
In addition to treating Dardan's prose with a natural fluidity, Toftner also skillfully handled the poem by Thomas Brasch that opens the novel and returns to shape the conclusion of the first chapter. The jury congratulates Hayden Toftner for rising to these numerous challenges, thereby earning this year’s Gutekunst Prize."
Hayden Toftner had the following to say on his experience of translating Asal Dardan's work:
You can read Hayden Toftner’s prizewinning translation of an excerpt from Asal Dardan’s novel Betrachtungen einer Barbarin:
About Hayden Toftner
Hayden Toftner is a recent graduate of Kenyon College, where he studied German and Political Science and worked as a teaching assistant for introductory German classes. This fall, he will serve as a US Teaching Assistant (USTA) in Austria, helping to teach English and promote cross-cultural understanding in two Austrian high schools.
About the Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York
In 2010, the Goethe-Institut New York received a generous donation in memory of Frederick and Grace Gutekunst. A prize was created to identify outstanding young translators of German literature into English and assist them in establishing contact with the translation and publishing communities. As of 2017, the prize is supported by the Friends of Goethe New York.
The Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York is open to college students and to all translators under the age of 35 who, at the time the prize is awarded, have not yet published, nor are under contract for, a book-length translation.