Wolff Translator’s Prize Winner Isabel Fargo Cole: Unearthing Wolfgang Hilbig
Goethe-Institut San Francisco | ART-Lounge | 530 Bush Street (entrance street level) | San Francisco, California
Doors at 7:00. Program will begin shortly after 7:30.
Join us for a double celebration at the Goethe-Institut San Francisco! We will toast Berlin-based translator Isabel Fargo Cole, winner of this year’s Helen & Kurt Wolff Prize for her translation of Wolfgang Hilbig’s Old Rendering Plant, and the recent publication of The Tidings of the Trees. Cole will discuss the translator as discoverer, the challenges of recreating the experience of language, and the artistic intimacy one cultivates by translating multiple works by the same writer with editor and critic Joseph Schreiber.
One of celebrated German author Wolfgang Hilbig’s most accessible and resonant works, The Tidings of the Trees is about the politics that rip us apart, the stories we tell for survival, and the absolute importance of words to nations and people. Where once was a beautiful wood now stands a desolate field smothered in ash and garbage, and here a young man named Waller has terrorizing encounters with grotesque figures named “the garbagemen.” As Waller becomes fascinated with these desperate men who eke out a survival by rooting through their nation’s waste, he imagines they are also digging through its past as their government erases its history and walls itself off from the outside world. Featuring some of Hilbig’s most striking, poetic, and powerful images, this flawless novella perfectly balances politics and literature.
This event is co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco.