Alain van Crugten awarded

Prix des Phares du Nord 2013

21 February 2014

On Monday February 10, the Prix des Phares du Nord 2013 is given to Alain van Crugten for his translation into French of Sprakeloos by Tom Lanoye (La Langue de ma mère), published at the Parisian La Différence. The jury praised as well his French translation of the theatre play Mamma Medea.

According to the jury, Van Crugten’s translation of the theatre play about Medea and Jason is “absolutely brilliant”. Lanoye based his work on two Ancient Greek plays: the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, in which the hexameter’s journey of the Argonauts is described, and the tragedy *Medea *of Euripides. It resulted in a magnificent contemporary, psychological drama of love and power. The jury report reads:

Van Crugten’s translation is just as flamboyant as the original version of Lanoye. He is consistent in his choices and plays bravely and beautiful with all the different parts of the play, from street language to classical expressions.

In addition, the jury noticed the influence of and inspiration by Corneille, although his work is not directly quoted anywhere, and Van Crugten’s works is also praised for its great musicality.

The Prix des Phares du Nord is a two-year prize for translations from Dutch into French, programmed by the Dutch Foundation of Literature and the Flemish Foundation for Literature. The Prize was given during a literary evening, that was organized on behalf of the status of the translated book in The Netherlands, Belgium and France. This year, the jury was formed by Betrand Abraham, DFanielle Bourgois and Margot Dijkgraaf. The full (Dutch) jury report can be read here; a link to the French translation is provided below.

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Peter Bergsma


Peter Bergsma

Director Amsterdam Translators’ House