• September 26, 2014
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Adam Zagajewski’s “Two Cities” among the best translations into Lithuanian

For the fifth time Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators have chosen the best translations of foreign literature into Lithuanian language published in 2013. Among the five books which have been chosen by the experts there is also Adam Zagajewski’s book “Two Cities” (lit. “Du miestai”). The book written by the Polish author was translated by Kazys Uscila and published by “VAGA”, a Lithuanian publishing house.

Among the five best translations are: Julian Barnes’s “Pabaigos jausmas” (“The Sense of an Ending”) translated by Nijolė Reginy Chijenien, a book by Roberto Bolaño, a Chilean writer “Pašėlę detektyvai”(“Los detectives salvajes”) translated from Spanish by Alma Naujokaitienė, a novel by Viktor Pelevin, a Russian writer “Snuff” (translated by Dalia Saukaitytė), Michaił Szyszkin’s “Veneros plaukas” (“Венерин волос”) translated by Aušra Stanaitytė-Karsokienė. Adam Zagajewski’s collection of essays “Du miestai” was recognized as deserving a place among five best translations.   

Adam Zagajewski was born in 1945 in Lviv. He spent his childhood in Gliwice and he studied in Krakow. “Two Cities” is an autobiographical book, lyrical reflection, a short essay about painful experiences, losings and existential homelessness of the author. The author says: “I spent my childhood in an ugly, industrial city; We moved there when I was 4 months old and I was told for years about the beautiful city we had to abandon. […] I was a conscious boy with memory small like hazelnut and I was sure, that walking down the streets of Gliwice, among the Prussian, secessionist townhouses adorned with heavy granite caryatids, I am where I am. My grandfather, though, although he was walking hand in hand with me, he was in Lviv. I was walking down the streets of Gliwice, he was walking down the streets of Lviv. […] From my room I can see far roofs of Paris, drying after rain, church towers and trees, cranes and TV aerials. I am listening to string quintet by Mozart. […] Two cities are talking with each other in this music. Two cities are dancing with each other. Two cities – different but doomed to difficult love, just as men and women”.

Translations of Polish literature into Lithuanian are recognized as one of the best translations every year. Last year Paweł Huelle’s “Mercedes-Benz: From the letters to Hrabal” was included in the list.

On the basis of: llvs.lt, zeszytyliterackie.pl



Translated by Gabriela Godek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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