Awards for Hans Driessen, Diego Puls and Mariolein Sabarte Belacortu
Translation Prizes 2010
27 December 2010
The Dutch Foundation for Literature’s Translation Prizes for the translator as cultural ambassador have been awarded to Hans Driessen (German into Dutch), Diego Puls (Dutch into Spanish) and Mariolein Sabarte Belacortu (Spanish into Dutch). The prizes were presented on Friday 10 December during the annual Literaire Vertaaldagen in Utrecht.
As of this year, one of the three translation prizes is intended for a translator of literary non-fiction who has made a particular contribution to increasing the accessibility of works of great cultural or historical importance. At the same time, the prize money has been increased. Each of the three winners will receive a sum of €10,000 to spend as they wish. Of the three prizes, one is for a literary translator of prose and/or poetry into Dutch, one for a translator of literary non-fiction into Dutch and one for a translator of literary works from the Dutch.
The jury for the prize for a translator from the Dutch was drawn from the Foundation’s foreign literature department; this year’s jury for the prizes for translators into Dutch was made up of Rokus Hofstede (chair), Caroline Meijer and Wilfred Oranje.
Hans Driessen (b. 1953), translator of a huge number of philosophical works, is the first winner of the Foundation’s prize for literary non-fiction. Highlights of his work include translations of Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche and Peter Sloterdijk, three German sages who combine pessimistic undertones with a sparkling and polemical literary style. Driessen has transformed their work into ‘pure, sharp and impassioned Dutch’, as the jury puts it. He began with Schopenhauer’s magnum opus De wereld als wil en voorstelling (Wereldbibliotheek, 1997) and went on to become editor-in-chief of the ten-volume series of works by Nietzsche published by De Arbeiderspers, as well as translating Peter Sloterdijk’s monumental Spheres trilogy (Boom, 2003 and 2009) and recently Schopenhauer’s famous essay Dat ben jij. Over de grondslag van de moraal (On the Basis of Morality). Alongside his tasks as a translator and editor, Driessen writes afterwords, columns and reviews of philosophical works.
Diego Puls (b. 1956) has served as a tireless trailblazer for Dutch literature in Spanish-speaking countries, primarily through his varied work as a translator, which ranges from Anne Frank’s diary to Turks fruit (Turkish Delight) by Jan Wolkers. For international festivals and literary magazines he has translated Dutch and Frisian poetry into Spanish, amounting to over 500 poems by more than ninety poets, including Eva Gerlach, Gerrit Komrij and Menno Wigman. He has also acted as a moderator and has often organized Dutch-into-Spanish literary translation workshops.
Mariolein Sabarte Belacortu (b. 1944) has been making Latin American literature available to the Dutch reader for more than four decades. She has translated works by the ‘big four’ – Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa – and by many other authors writing in Spanish, including Juan Carlos Onetti, Jorge Volpi and Juan Rulfo. The jury praised in particular her outstanding translation of Liefde in tijden van cholera ('Love in the Time of Cholera) by García Marquez (Meulenhoff, 1986) and of poetry by Roberto Juarroz, which is lucid, polemical but at the same time rich in imagery (Meulenhoff 1993; Wagner & Van Santen 2003). Sabarte is regularly in demand as an expert in the field of literature from South American – for interviews, as recently when Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, for talks, as a jury member and as an adviser for events such as the Poetry International Festival. Since the establishment of the VertalersVakschool in 2007 she has been involved with its Spanish curriculum as a teacher.