2009 The Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation
This year’s honoree is Michael Henry Heim.
The Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation is given every three years to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work.
he award was initiated by funds donated by the late Bernard Malamud and by Gay Talese, and has received additional support from the family and friends of Ralph Manheim.
From the Judges’ Citation
In their citation the judges write: “Michael Henry Heim is one of the great translator humanists of our time. His vision of world literature and farsighted promotion of translation have been an inspiration to generations. A man of boundless curiosity, he commands a breathtaking range of languages, including French, German, Hungarian, Serbian, Czech, Russian, and Chinese, and among the authors he has brought into English are Milan Kundera, Danilo Kiš, Karel Čapek, Günther Grass, Péter Esterházy, and George Konrád. His translations encompass every literary genre, from novels to poetry, plays, mathematical treatises, and essayistic prose, not to mention his own prolific output as a literary critic. Heim has mentored generations of students into the art of translation through his classes, workshops, and the many projects he has founded, such as the BABEL group, the National Graduate Student Translation Conference, and the American Council of Learned Societies’ Social Science Translation Project. His contribution to the PEN Translation Fund is unparalleled, thanks to his polyglot expertise and his generosity in shepherding grant recipients through the publication process and beyond. In the clarity, beauty, and honesty of his work, Michael Henry Heim is truly il miglior fabbro.”
Gregory Rabassa, Richard Howard, Ralph Manheim, William Weaver, Richard Wilbur, Robert Fagles, Edmund Keeley, and Donald Keene