Posts filed under 'proust questionnaire'

Proust Questionnaire: Tim Wilkinson

...a "Lydia Davis" questionnaire for Hungarian-language translator Tim Wilkinson

Tim Wilkinson (b. 1947) grew up in Sheffield, S. Yorks., but has lived most his adult life in London. He is the primary English translator of Hungarian writer Imre Kertész (titles including Fatelessness, Fiasco, Kaddish for an Unborn Child, Liquidation, Detective Story, The Pathseeker and Dossier K) and, more recently, Miklós Szentkuthy (Marginalia on Casanova, Towards the One and Only Metaphor), among others, as well as shorter works by a wide range of other contemporary Hungarian-­language authors. Fatelessness was awarded the PEN Club/Book of the Month Translation Prize for 2005.

Q: How did you learn your foreign language, and how did you begin working as a literary translator?

A: I learned Hungarian “on the hoof,” mainly by moving to Budapest around Easter 1970 and marrying the girl with whom I had by then fallen in love, having made several trips there since 1964. I might add that I sort of picked up German in much the same way (minus the love complications), by taking up a job in Switzerland, 20 years later. Contact with speakers of a language is, for me, the important feature, just as it is with small children… The strictly “literary” translation work only really came about ten years ago, after I had been translating a fairly wide range of non-fiction (mostly with a pronounced historical flavor) as an add-on to my main job (which was in an altogether different field and had little or nothing to do with translation). READ MORE…