Translation "TRANSLATORS ARE DEFENDERS OF LANGUAGE AT A TIME WHEN IT IS UNDER ATTACK"

Michael Reynolds
Photo: Goethe Institut New York

In our politically contentious times, Michael Reynolds believes that translators are more important than ever.

As a jury member for the Gutekunst Prize of the Friends of Goethe New York, Michael Reynolds delivered a laudation for emerging translator Amanda Olson during an award ceremony held on June 8, 2017, at the Goethe-Institut New York. In assessing the current political situation in the US (his speech refers to the testimony former FBI director James Comey gave before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the day of the prize ceremony), he concludes that translators are indispensable for connecting readers to ideas and cultures that “serve as alternatives to those they have at their disposal here at home.”

Michael Reynolds is Editor-in-chief of Europa Editions, independent publisher of world fiction. He was born in Australia in 1968 and now lives in New York with his family.

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.