Peter Huchel, Roads, Roads


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Peter Huchel was one of the most important poets in the former German Democratic Republic. He was born in Berlin in 1903 and was an arts director for Radio Berlin and later for the literary magazine Sinn und Form (“Sense and Form”), the most prestigious in East Germany. In 1962, he was removed from editing the magazine, publicly censored and forced into house arrest. After considerable pressure from the West, he finally managed to leave the Democratic Republic in 1971. He died in West Germany in 1980, having received international acclaim for his poetry. Chausseen, Chausseen (Roads, Roads) is one of his finest collections of poetry.

Peter Huchel: Carreteras, carreteras

To translate a book of poetry means to enter a new dimension in literary translation. When translating poetry, time losses its meaning: what's more, if there is something the poetry translator needs to keep in mind, it is that he has to forget about time and leave himself to be literally "bathed" in the original text. Only after he has carried the book inside him for a long time, will he be able to transliterate the book into another language. Paradoxically, however, once this period of absorption and "feeding" from the text has ended, the writing of the poems themselves did not mean a great deal of an effort for me, but a pleasure which was increasing the more I advanced on my work.

Some interesting external links about Peter Huchel:

Peter Huchel-Haus: Website of the House of Peter Huchel, in which he lived for almost 20 years, now devoted to his work and to literature (in German).

Wikipedia: Brief biography of Peter Huchel in the German version of the Wikipedia.

Revista de Filología Alemana: Article in this important Spanish philology magazine, which comments on the Spanish edition of the book and the work of the translator.

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