Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Department of the Things You Find Out When You Google Yourself

Last year I translated a play for a series called New Czech Plays: Staged Readings in Translation. This is an event the Czech Center New York—in particular, its whip-smart, energetic deputy director, Irena Kovarova—launched in 2002 to offer, duh, new Czech plays to theater-hungry New Yorkers in an intimate, informal setting.

The series is fantastic. Every play I've been to has been followed by an enlightening and entertaining discussion between members of the cast and the audience, which is typically a mix of Czech-Americans, assorted East European emigrés, American Czechophiles, and New York theaterites. Often Irena will also invite a director or author from the Czech Republic to speak as well, and I never fail to walk away feeling that I've learned something new about acting or writing or any aspect of theater you can think of pretty much. And, most pleasing to me, it is one of the only times I have ever heard "regular" people talk about translation.

I should add here too that the series, though only two years old, has already proved itself so popular that the 2004 edition is going to be held at the illustrious Public Theater, founded by the legendary Joseph Papp.

The play I translated for last year's series, Minach, by Iva Volánková, was a 2002 winner of the Alfred Radok Prize, awarded each year since 1992 to the best original Czech and Slovak plays. Apart from a chunk of crownage, the winners are honored by having their works translated into English (and possibly other languages as well; I just don't know about that), in the hope that they will be performed in other countries.

So I knew my translation was going to be published, but until this evening I didn't know it had already happened! (To be honest, I had wanted to do a little more work on it still, after I saw it performed in the Czech Center's series. Oh well.)

P.S. I have also this evening, while putting off work on the translation I should be doing right now, added a few more links on Czech lit, City Sister Silver, and Jáchym Topol. Czech lit lovers, live it up!