Seminar of translators. Käsmu 2001

by Tiina Randviir

SEMINAR OF THE TRANSLATORS OF ESTONIAN LITERATURE
KÄSMU 2001




Between 15 and 19 April 2001, translators of Estonian literature from all over the world gathered in Käsmu.  The seminar was organised by the Estonian Writers’ Union and supported by the Estonian state and various foundations. The location was the Writers’ Union house in Käsmu village in the Lahemaa National Park. The previous similar undertaking occurred in 1996 in Tallinn. This year’s seminar was part of the Estonian Book Year. 24 translators from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Poland, Check Republic, and one from the United States of America. French Estophiles were unfortunately unable to attend.
The days started in snowstorm and ended in snowless sunshine – another example of the whimsical nature of April weather. Various lecturers enlightened the translators on the usual topics – Estonian literature during the last five years, prose, poetry, drama, essays, criticism. The working language was Estonian. The guests gave an overview of the critical reception of Estonian literature in their respective countries. In order to improve the overall situation we introduced two initiatives. The first is the translation grant Traducta, established by the Cultural Endowment. The second is an independent non-governmental institution Eesti Kirjanduse Teabekeskus – Estonian Literature Information Centre.
We very much hope that it will be possible to organise such seminars every five years. The value and benefits of them is obvious.

The participants:
Eric Dickens, Gyözö Féhervári, Maima Grīnberga, Irja Grönholm, Cornelius Hasselblatt, Pirkko Huurto, Raija Hämäläinen, Ivo Iliste, Gisbert Jänicke, Ruta Karma, Merike Lepasaar-Beecher, Gabriella Nagy, Hannu Oittinen, Aarne Puu, Øyvind Rangøy, Danute Sirijos-Giraite, Mónika Szegesdi, Arnold Tamm, Aleksandr Tomberg, Jonatan Tomeš, Tør Tveite, Jouko Vanhanen, Lilia Velichkova, Marianne Vogel