Forthcoming: Bottom’s Dream (Zettel’s Traum) by Arno Schmidt

I have recently come up with the idea to add a new rubric to my blog that will deal with the forthcoming translations of important works of literature or the anticipated publication of already completed translations. I am especially interested  in the books that had remained untranslated into English for too long. All these posts will bear the title “Forthcoming”. I hope the few readers that check out The Untranslated from time to time will get as excited at the prospect of finally immersing themselves into the work previously unavailable in English as I did.

As many of you might know, the giant of literary translation from German John E. Woods, after years of what must have been arduous and humanly impossible labour, has completed the English version of Arno Schmidt’s magnum opus Zettel’s Traum. The translation will bear the tilte Bottom’s Dream. There is no official announcement about the publication yet, but you can see on Google Books  at the moment the following information:

If this is true, already this autumn we’ll have the chance to approach the intransigent genius of Arno Schmidt’s major novel that has been compared to no less than Finnegans Wake. Just like Joyce’s creation, Zettels Traum is believed to be impossible to translate, and, of course, what we will get will be as much Woods’ accomplishment as that of Arno Schmidt. The only worry that I have is the possible price of the volume. You have to be really well-heeled to afford the recent German edition.

Update 1: the latest interview with John E. Woods is now available on the Dalkey Archive website.

Update 2: It turns out that the publication has been postponed to the beginning of 2016, as stated on the site of Arno Schmidt Stiftung.

Update 3: Tired of waiting for the translation, I’ve embarked on reading Zettel’s Traum in German. It’s hard, but not impossible.

Update 4: At last, Bottom’s Dream is available for pre-order. I am looking forward to comparing Woods’ translation to the original.


Filed under Forthcoming Translations

4 responses to “Forthcoming: Bottom’s Dream (Zettel’s Traum) by Arno Schmidt

  1. Interestingly enough, it does not appear in WorldCat or either of the Amazons nor on Dalkey Archive’s own site, except in the Woods interview. At over 1500 pages in the Suhrkamp edition (at a mere €100), I can’t believe it will be a bestseller in English. I shall look forward to your review.

  2. This “cheap” edition is a three volume paperback, which, to my mind, is so incongruent with Schmidt’s original design that it would be almost sacrilegious for me to go for that edition. If I were to review the English translation, I would have to make another blog for it because of the mission statement of The Untranslated.

  3. Will be one I hope to get when it arrives next year enjoying your reading of the German edition

  4. Thanks for following my effort! I’m also looking forward to Woods’ translation. It would be interesting to see how certain things are rendered in English.

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