by Helen Gregg
On Thursday, the Goethe-Institut New York and the German Book Office co-hosted a reception for Ross Benjamin, the acclaimed German translator of the recently-released Speak, Nabokov by Michael Maar (Verso Press, 2010).
Ross Benjamin is the winner of the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his translation of Speak, Nabokov. Mr. Benjamin’s previous work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, and The Nation, along with various other publications. His other full-length translations include Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion (Archipelago Books, 2008), Kevin Vennemann’s Close to Jedenew (Melville House, 2008), Joseph Roth’s Job (Archipelago, forthcoming, 2010) and Thomas Pletzinger’s Funeral for a Dog (W.W. Norton & Company, forthcoming, 2011).
After brief remarks by Brigitte Doellgast, the director of the Goethe-Institut New York library, and Thomas Minkus of the German Book Office, the roomful of guests drank wine and enjoyed snacks in the open SoHo loft. Copies of Speak, Nabokov, were available for purchase and eventually sold out, but the primary focus of the evening was a celebration of Mr. Benjamin and his work.