Translating Kafka: Willa & Edwin Muir

Josh Billings (Asymptote) profiles Kafka’s first major English translators

For Willa and Edwin Muir, the Scottish couple whose translations of Franz Kafka, Hermann Broch and many others introduced English-language readers to some of the greatest German modernists, translation was a gift and a curse. On the one hand, it offered them money and a sense of accomplishment; on the other, it encroached on the writing that both of them, at different points in their lives, considered a true calling. But no matter how they thought about it, translation remained a means of survival for the couple: a lifeboat in which they bobbed, happily or at odds, through some of the most treacherous waters of the 20th century. [Read More]

  1. Thank you for calling attention to this fascinating essay. There are so many interesting online journals out there, it’s hard to keep up.

    • Rhys Tranter

      There’s a lot of great stuff out there! Sometimes I have to pull myself away 🙂

  2. Thanks for the link – always been interested in the Muirs so keen to find out more!

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