Sudabeh Mohafez and Kate Roy

London, 10 December 2014

'Später werde ich wissen, dass vor dem Feuer eine Verpuffung war, kenne jetzt aber dieses Wort noch nicht, höre nur das Geräusch, das es bezeichnet, das gerade so klingt wie das Wort, nämlich: Puff!, eindeutig wie: Puff! Davon bin ich aufgewacht.'
(Cologne: Dumont, 2010)

'Later I’ll know that there was a deflagration before the fire, but I don’t know that word yet, I just hear the sound that signifies it, whoompf!, that is: definitely whoompf! That’s what woke me up.'
Translation by Kate Roy

Sudabeh Mohafez and Kate Roy (Photo by H. Bartel)
Sudabeh Mohafez and Kate Roy (Photograph H. Bartel)

In this opening Encounter, Sudabeh Mohafez and Kate Roy read from the novel brennt, illustrating the intense relationship between the German original and the English translation.  

Sudabeh Mohafez spent her childhood in Teheran, before living in Berlin and Lisbon. She studied Music and English literature in Germany, and worked for several non-governmental organisations focusing on the prevention of violence and crisis intervention. She now lives in Kallenberg (near Stuttgart), where she teaches creative writing. Her literary work has earned her numerous grants and scholarships, amongst which is the Poetikdozentur for 2007 at the Hochschule RheinMain (Wiesbaden).

Kate Roy is a scholar of German, lecturer and translator, specialising in contemporary French and German literature. She has held a lectureship at the University of Leeds, an adjunct professorship at Franklin University, Lugano, and a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies at the IMLR.

This event was sponsored by the Keith Spalding Bequest