Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Professor of German David Dollenmayer is the winner of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York's (ACFNY) 2010 Translation Prize for his translation-in-progress of Michael Köhlmeier's Idyll With Drowning Dog (Idylle mit ertrinkendem Hund), first published in 2008. Renowned critic Daniela Strigl from Vienna will present Dollenmayer with the award at a Dec. 6 ACFNY ceremony in New York City. Köhlmeier is a major Austrian writer whose works have never been translated into English.
This is Professor Dollenmayer's second translation award in two years. In 2008, he was honored by the German cultural organization Goethe-Institut with the prestigious annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize for his German-to-English translation of the poet Moses Rosenkranz' Childhood: An Autobiographical Fragment (Kindheit. Fragment einer Autobiographie). He has also translated works as varied as Dearest Georg by Elias Canetti (2010), Crossing the Hudson by Peter Stephan Jungk (2009), and House of Childhood by Anna Mitgutsch (2006).
In collaboration with the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and Words Without Borders, the ACFNY Translation Prize supports translations of contemporary Austrian fiction, poetry, and drama which have not previously appeared in English, with a € 3,000 grant. The award will be disbursed upon the formal acceptance of the manuscript by a publishing house, which must occur within a three years. The trophy for the winner is sponsored by SWAROVSKI GEMS™.
A Hopkinton, Mass., resident, Dollenmayer's primary research interests are the translation of contemporary German authors' works; and 18th, 19th, and 20th century German literature and culture. "I think my work is typical of the kinds of things being done by my other colleagues in WPI’s Humanities and Arts Department," he says. "My experience has always been that WPI students approach the humanities and arts with the same openness, curiosity, and enthusiasm they display in their science and engineering courses and in their research projects."
Dollenmayer is the author of The Berlin Novels of Alfred Döblin (University of California Press, 1988) and co-author with Thomas Hansen of Neue Horizonte: A First Course in German Language and Culture (Houghton Mifflin, 7th edition, 2008). He has also published translations of works by Bertolt Brecht (Flüchtlingsgespräche), Perikles Monioudis (Im Äther), and Michael Kleeberg (Der König von Korsika).
Dollenmayer earned his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University, and began teaching at WPI in 1988.